Newcastle United are closely monitoring Jay Spearing's potential availability at Liverpool and considering bidding for the midfielder as long as the slump that has taken Alan Pardew's team to one place above the relegation zone does not get any worse and sends them into the Championship.
Spearing has spent this season on loan at Bolton Wanderers, where he has already won player of the year awards from two different supporters' groups. He has a year remaining on his contract at Liverpool and may have to leave Anfield on a permanent basis if he wants to carry on getting regular first-team football.
The 24-year-old has become an integral part of the Bolton side that Dougie Freedman has taken to sixth in the Championship, with the opportunity to confirm a play-off spot by beating Blackpool at home on Saturday.
A broken toe has ruled out Spearing but he still has a chance of figuring in the play-off final, should Bolton get there, and is due for talks with the Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, to establish his future.