Newcastle United are looking to beat off the attentions of Liverpool and sign Readings highly-rated defender Alex Pearce in the coming weeks.

Despite being part of a squad which was relegated from the Premier League, Pearce played well for the Royals in 21 appearances last season.

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Newcastle still fear Fabricio Coloccini will return home to Argentina for personal reasons and Republic of Ireland international Pearce, who will become a free agent when his contract expires later this month, will help plug the gap.

Magpies boss Alan Pardew had been keen on West Ham central defender James Tomkins but has been told by his former club the player is not on the market. (The Metro)

The Toon have to do a lot of business in the summer window and if they can pick up Pearce for nothing and beat off the attentions of Liverpool, it will be a good move by the club.