Noel Whelan believes Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll could be one of the first names out of the door if Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-backed takeover bid is successful.

The former Leeds United hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the Magpies cannot keep paying the 31-year-old’s high wages when he has struggled so much with his fitness.

Carroll returned to St James’ Park on a free transfer last summer, signing a one-year deal after left West Ham at the end of his contract.

However, injury problems mean that he has struggled for game time under Steve Bruce, the last of his 14 appearances coming back in January.

With Carroll’s contract coming to an end this summer, Whelan believes the prospective new owners should not be offering him a chance to stay.

Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s been stop and start for Andy. When he’s been back we’ve seen those flashes of quality and what he brings to the side.

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“Can you really be paying a certain amount of money for a player you’re only going to get 15-20 games out of a season? You can’t do that.

“He’s not going to be on small wages, he’ll still be commanding a decent wage at Newcastle. As much as he’s got that relationship with the club, sometimes you’ve got to think about the team and the club first rather than just the player. 

“You’ve got to put your business head on, go with your head rather than your heart. Unfortunately for Andy, I’m sure he would have wanted more game time and an injury-free season but it seems he’s hampered with them.

“He gets little niggles that puts him out for three weeks, he’ll come back for two games and then be out for five weeks. It’s demoralising for the player because I’ve been there.

“It’ll be driving him nuts but the club have got to be sensible and make the right decision.”

In other Newcastle United news, Mauricio Pochettino’s stance on managing the Magpies has been revealed.