Liverpool and United look to tie up £3.5m deal for African star

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Manchester United and Liverpool are both interested in Marseille defender Taye Taiwo, according to the Daily Mail.

The Nigerian is out of contract in the summer and has already stated his intention to leave France, which has led to increasing speculation that he will move to the Barclays Premier League.

Taiwo is hardly short on confidence - believing he has what it takes to play for one of England's top clubs - something he may have a chance to prove should Liverpool or United step up their reported interest.

“If I was to depart, then I would not join a small club. It will be Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal,” Taiwo told France-Football last year.

“I am not scared by the level in England. I believe I have the right level to defend against [Wayne] Rooney."


The 25-year-old is also being courted by Manchester City, Tottenham, Juventus and Real Madrid as he looks to secure five-year deal worth around £3.5 million a year.

The Daily Mail claims Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson watched the full-back in action against Monaco last month, while other sources allege Liverpool have sent representatives to monitor him previously.

Taiwo, a powerful full-back, would be an ideal acquisition for Liverpool who are currently lacking depth at left-back after the departure of Paul Konchesky from Anfield.

Glen Johnson has recently been switched from his preferred position of right-back and - while Johnson has been competent in the recent revival under Kenny Dalglish - Liverpool are understood to be keen to bring a recognised left-sided player to fill the role.

Meanwhile, United are understood to be keen to reinforce their full-back ranks to plan for the possibility of Patrice Evra leaving Old Trafford in the summer, with Real Madrid reported to be considering a summer bid for the Frenchman.

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