Liverpool are reportedly in pole position to win the race to sign Marseille defender Taye Taiwo.

The Nigerian has revealed his intention not to sign a new contract with the Ligue 1 club and will be available on a free transfer in the summer.

Taiwo has consistently been linked with a move to the Barclays Premier League - with Liverpool and Manchester United reportedly his most serious suitors - and FootyLatest claims the former are 'favourites' to sign him.

The 25-year-old has previously stated his admiration for the English game and has his sights set on a move to one of the traditional 'big four' clubs in the top-flight.

“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."

According to the Daily Mail, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has previously been on a scouting mission to view Taiwo at close quarters and will also get the chance to run the rule over the full-back when Marseille travel to Old Trafford next week.


However - after Patrice Evra committed his future to United by signing a new contract - the Red Devils club are seemingly unlikely to swoop for a high-profile left-back, which may pave the way for Liverpool in their pursuit of Taiwo.

Liverpool are known to have identified the acquisition of a new left-back as a summer priority as they search for a successor to Anfield flop Paul Konchesky.

With Fabio Aurelio struggling with injury, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has deployed Glen Johnson on the left this season but is expected to sign a more long-term solution for the problematic role.

Liverpool have also been linked with Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre and Anfield academy product Stephen Warnock in their pursuit of reinforcements.

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