The inevitable speculation that Andy Carroll will leave Newcastle United in the January transfer window, is just about at full throttle.
Of course, chiefly it would appear that White Hart Lane is the most likely destination. The London Evening Standard contends that Tottenham Hotspur have been given an indication that a deal could be reached.
Their understanding is that Robbie Keane and David Bentley, who have both been mentioned by Alan Pardew in recent days, are valued at £12m as a pair. That pair and another £8m is believed to be enough for Ashely to start considering as a deal.
There is even allegedly scope to bring Peter Crouch into the equation, although whether that is as another makeweight as well as more cash is unknown. That would depend on the comparative values of the players involved and how each club prices them.
More reputable websites, even including .com, are now beginning to mention the unpalatable conclusion that he ends up moving on. Questioning why his recent MRI scan was completed in the capital. While The Journal takes a contradicting angle, having spoken to Alan Pardew.
The Journal suggests that Pardew is unwilling to let Carroll go because a similar situation in 2006 led to his demise as West Ham boss. Pardew asserts that losing Dean Ashton to injury, ultimately cost him his job. That reliance on his number one striker, is a parallel he sees with his current No.9. And Pardew is determined to ensure that he holds on to his prize asset.
Of course Alan Pardew and supporters alike can wish for anything they want. Everybody else can see the sense in holding on to a player realising their potential while currently playing a massive role at this club. But there are few in the football world that don't know who has the ultimate say at Newcastle United.
If Mike Ashley has been consistent in any way at St James' Park, it is in his demonstration that this is his toy, and he will do whatever he likes with it, irrespective of the fallout. What might make sense to us and the manager is irrelevant.
However, the truth is that the player must first want to make the move. Andy Carroll's home is in the North East and his comforts lie here. Carroll has broken into the England set-up against the odds both on and off the field, with some impressive displays on the pitch. All that while playing for his home town club. So the question remains, at this point in his career, why would he move? It remains to be seen whether he could be tempted south.