Former Liverpool £35m club-record signing held talks with League One club this month

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Ex-Liverpool, Newcastle United and West Ham United striker Andy Carroll had the option to join Bristol Rovers before re-signing for Reading.

Former Liverpool club-record signing Andy Carroll held discussions with League One side Bristol Rovers earlier this month.

Gas boss Joey Barton admitted that he tried to prise Carroll to the Memorial Stadium before the striker opted to return to Reading.

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Carroll spent the first half of last season at Reading before joining West Brom in January - but was released in June.

He was then a free agent throughout the summer transfer window.

In January 2011, Liverpool paid a then-record transfer fee of £35 million to sign the centre-forward from Newcastle.

However, 11 years later, he had the option to drop down to the third tier with Rovers. But he chose to move back to Championship side Reading.

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What’s been said

Per our sister title BristolWorld, Barton said: "I was speaking to Andy and he was saying he might have a Premier League move.

“It was like 7 September, he’s my mate, so I said to him: ‘What are you doing? What are you going to do, sit in the house?’

“He said: ‘Look, I’ve had a bit of interest from abroad, and I’m not sure if I’m going to do that. I’ve had Premier League interest’.

"I was like: ‘All right, no problem, hopefully it comes off for you'.

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“I saw Diego Costa signing (for Wolves) so it must. He never told me that but I’m presuming it’s that. He told me: ‘If I miss that then there’s a few Championship clubs interested in me’.

“And you never know whether they’re just saying that because their agent has said that or there actually is.

“So I am like, okay, that is interesting and then as it transpires he has gone to Reading. But I had gone: ‘If none are them are there and you fancy playing we’ll have you’.”

Carroll scored 11 goals in 58 goals for Liverpool - with one of his efforts coming the FA Cup final loss to Chelsea in 2012.

He spent just one-and-a-half years at Anfield, moving to West Ham on loan before making his switch permanent in the summer of 2013.

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