Irons boss Sam Allardyce would love to build next season's team around the England striker, who impressed during his loan spell from Liverpool despite only scoring seven times.
However, while Carroll last night posted a message on Twitter saying how much he had "enjoyed every minute of being at West Ham", making a permanent switch has several hurdles to overcome. Not least the £17million fee parent club Liverpool would expect the Irons to meet, with former side Newcastle and Monaco said to be closely monitoring the situation.
Nolan, who played with Carroll during their spells on Tyneside, hopes to see his good friend back in claret and blue, but accepts the club must not pin all of their aspirations on progression next season at the feet of the 6ft 3ins England frontman.
"It will be massive if we do get Andy, but it is not the be all and end all," Nolan said.
"I have been with Sam a long time. When he did not manage to get his first man, he has always managed to get his second man and we always manage to do well.
"If he gets the chance to bring the quality of the players he wants, then I am sure we will be aiming for the higher echelons of the Premier League.
"I have a lot of faith that Sam will get the men he wants in the summer and will be working hard with the chairman to do that."