Toon target in-demand Championship defender


Newcastle have made a bid for Watford defender Adrian Mariappa, according to Sky Sports.


Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has reiterated his desire to bring in defensive cover during the January transfer window after injuries to Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini at the same time exposed his side’s defensive frailties earlier this season.


While Coloccini has returned to action, Taylor is out for the season, and it seems the former West Ham boss will get his wish to strengthen after making a bid for the highly rated 25-year-old.


Sky Sports report that Swansea showed in interest in securing the services of Mariappa over the summer, but Newcastle now have emerged as the favourties for his signature after formally making an offer.


Mariappa, who has 18 months left on his current deal, has impressed since emerging through the ranks at Vicarage Road in 2005, and featured in the Hornets’ failed 2006/07 Premier League campaign.


Earlier on Monday Pardew revealed he expected to end his search for defensive cover before the transfer window snaps shut in eight days time, telling the Northern Echo: “We want to bring a defender in. I've talked about it before and it's something we'll definitely be looking to do.


“We need to do something if we can because we haven't really got any cover at all at the back. If we were to suffer an injury at centre-half, we'd suddenly look very vulnerable.


"We're away until Wednesday now, but the phone will be switched on and I'll be monitoring things.”


The Magpies have previously been linked with a moves for West Ham stopper James Tomkins and Middlesbrough centre-back Rhys Williams, while a move for Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen has been mooted by the media in recent weeks.

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