Newcastle United have reportedly been told that they will have to pay around £17m if they want to sign striker Andy Carroll from Liverpool this summer.
There had been rumours of a swap deal involving Hatem Ben Arfa, but now that seems unlikely.
According to The Mirror, although Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is a fan of the Frenchman, Liverpool are unwilling to take a risk on the player due to doubts over his fitness.
The Magpies sold Carroll to Liverpool for £35m in 2011 but are looking for a much cheaper deal to bring him back to St. James’ Park.
If a deal can not be agreed, then Newcastle manager Alan Pardew may look to the French transfer market and in particular Saint-Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
That could open the door for Carroll to move permanently to West Ham United, where he is currently on loan.