West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has rejected transfer speculation suggesting Andy Carroll could join former club Newcastle.
Carroll has struggled with injuries during his time with the Hammers, appearing in 110 matches and scoring 30 goals since making his debut for the club in 2012, and has been linked with a return to the Magpies.
The England international came through the ranks at Newcastle, but Bilic has dismissed the rumours, claiming it is nothing more than paper talk.
He said, as quoted by London Football News: “He’s always a very interesting character to be in the papers for whatever reason.
“I think it’s because we play Newcastle, he’s from Newcastle, he’s on the verge of coming back and you have to fill the papers.”
Carroll scored 33 goals in 91 appearances for Newcastle before leaving for Liverpool in a deal worth £35m, netting 11 strikes for the Reds, but ultimately proving to be a bad transfer from the Merseyside club.
Bilic also admitted his side need to improve defensively, having conceded seven goals from their first two Premier League matches.
He added: “It is a thing that we are talking about.
“Those three goals we conceded (against Southampton) came from individual mistakes and the players are very frustrated.
“You can very easily stop these kind of situations, like the first goal against Southampton when it was obvious what they were going to do.
“We are analysing it and encouraging the players to do what they have to do – and they will do it.