Liverpool are set to table a £15.5million bid for Cheik Tiote in January, according to reports.
The Daily Express claims Brendan Rodgers will look to test the resolve of Newcastle United with the offer, but could face strong competition for the signature in the transfer window.
After a lacklustre start to the current campaign, the Liverpool boss is already looking at options to bolster his line-up in the new year, with Tiote emerging as an option for the heart of the side.
Rodgers is looking to move Reds captain Steven Gerrard out of his current position as a deep-lying midfielder, thus creating space for the Ivorian international to come in and anchor the side at Anfield.
And, the report goes on to claim that Tiote is desperate to leave the Toon in January, despite saying otherwise in the press, after an abysmal start to the season at St. James' Park. That all suggests Liverpool are in a great position to land the player.
However, the other interested parties include Manchester United and Arsenal, meaning the player's future destination is far from certain.
Louis van Gaal has spent plenty of money since taking over the Red Devils, most notably adding to his attacking options with Radamel Falcao on loan and Angel di Maria in a record deal.
The Dutchman did add a holding midfielder in the shape of Daley Blind though, and it's unlikely that the pair would play together for Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Blind could drop into centre back if required, although it's more likely that the pair would be rotated if Van Gaal were to make the 28-year-old one of his targets in January 2015.
Gunners lead race
Arsene Wenger would appear to have a greater need for a player of Tiote's ability, and the report goes on to claim that Arsenal are currently leading the race to sign the player.
The Gunners were less active in the summer transfer window, but still made notable additions with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck arriving at the Emirates Stadium.
Tiote would offer more stability to Arsenal and strengthen a midfield regularly struggling to deal with injuries as they battle for trophies on multiple fronts.
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