Newcastle United are being linked with a £4.5 million move for Liverpool defender target Andreas Granqvist.

The Reds made a £4 bid for the player in the summer transfer window, according to The Sun, but the paper now claims that Magpies chief Alan Pardew is ready to ‘hijak’ the Genoa star’s potential move to Anfield.

Granqvist has previously admitted to being flattered over a link to Liverpool, despite being happy with life in Serie ‘A’, and would compete for a place at centre back alongside Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jamie Carragher and Sebastian Coates.

'I am happy in Genoa, but obviously I am flattered by the interest from the Reds. They are an historic and successful club,” he said in October, according to Metro.

The report in October claimed that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers asked scouts to watch the player on international duty for Sweden, but it appears the Merseyside giants were not the only Premier League club watching the player.

Newcastle United aren’t short of defenders at St James’ Park, although injuries have left Pardew’s side particularly weak at the heart of the back line.

Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson are the three main centre backs currently on the books in Tyneside, and Granqvist would add further strength to Newcastle in the position as they look to challenge in both the Premier League and Europe.

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