Steven Taylor has emerged as the probable subject of a bidding war between Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton, according to reports.
Taylor’s Newcastle contract is due to expire at the end of the season and, with negotiations non-existent, he looks set to leave the club.
However, Liverpool and Everton are unlikely to want to wait until the summer so will offer £2 million for the former England under-21 captain.
The 24-year-old is seen as a proven Premier League player and would fit in with new Liverpool owners NESV’s transfer blueprint – which is geared towards a good youth policy.
John W Henry wants younger players to be brought to Anfield next month and, with not a lot of money available to Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson, he would be a perfect player to shore up their defence.
Everton, though, could provide competition to Liverpool as David Moyes will want to improve his Goodison Park defence after a poor start to the season.
Taylor's agent Paul Stretford has recently tried to start negotiations for an improved contract for his client, which is likely to hurry the Mersey teams to follow up their interest.
However, with the news of Chris Hughton's departure contract talks will not be high on the agenda for the Toon Army hierarchy.