West Ham have made a bid for Liverpool striker Andy Carroll that would shatter the club's transfer record.
Carroll, 23, is thought to be surplus to requirements at Anfield despite the £35 million spent on him in January 2011 and Liverpool could be ready to let him leave this summer.
The Hammers have offered £2 million to loan Carroll until the end of the 2012-13 season and will also meet his £80,000-a-week wage demands. The bid also contains a clause that would see Carroll join in a permanent deal for a further £16 million, if the club avoid relegation.
The total outlay of West Ham's bid is significantly more than the £7.5 million they paid Liverpool for Craig Bellamy in 2007 and Jack Sullivan, son of David Sullivan, the West Ham co-owner, virtually confirmed the news by tweeting: "Dad is working on the biggest signing in the history of the club - twice as big as anything the club have done before!"
Carroll himself, however, is thought to favour a return to Newcastle rather than a move to London, despite the presence of former Newcastle team-mate and good friend Kevin Nolan at Upton Park.
Newcastle are reported to have offered him a loan move for the season with the option of a £15 million deal next summer, but Liverpool rejected the proposal as it included them paying a significant portion of the England striker's wages.