Liverpool are keeping tabs on Joey Barton's contract situation at Newcastle, skysports.com understands.
Barton's future at Newcastle has been the subject of speculation with the midfielder yet to agree a new deal at St James' Park.
The news has alerted a number of clubs to Barton's possible availability with both Aston Villa and West Ham credited with an interest in the former Manchester City man in the January transfer window.
Now Liverpool are believed to be tracking Barton following his superb season for Newcastle this term.
With Barton entering the final 12 months of his contract at Newcastle this summer, the midfielder would be an attractive proposition for Liverpool as he could be available for a cut-price fee.
The 28-year-old has been Newcastle's standout performer this season on their return to the Premier League and he is widely expected to scoop the club's Player of the Season award.
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is thought to be drawing up his list of transfer targets and Barton could figure on it due to his success in linking up with Reds striker Andy Carroll while the pair were together at Newcastle.
Barton was the provider of eight of Carroll's goals at Newcastle this season prior to his move to Anfield in January and Dalglish could look to reunite the pair as he tries to get the best out of his £35million signing next season.
Barton has excelled in his right-side midfield role this season and he could be the answer to Liverpool's problematic right-wing position by adding some creativity to the midfield.