JOSE Enrique is on the brink of joining Liverpool after Newcastle United accepted a bid for the defender.
SportMail understands Kenny Dalglish’s long-running pursuit of the 25-year-old is close to a conclusion.
And according to sources on Merseyside, Enrique was due at the club today for a medical and to discuss personal terms.
The Spaniard’s exit will allow manager Alan Pardew to move for a replacement, with PSV Eindhoven left-back Erik Pieters a target for the club.
Liverpool’s interest in Enrique dates back to early in the year. With Dalglish’s side having been shipping goals freely in pre-season, the club has belatedly firmed up its interest and tabled an as yet undisclosed bid, which is understood to have been accepted.
Enrique became unsettled at St James’s Park in the wake of Andy Carroll’s controversial £35m sale to Liverpool in January. And the frustrated defender let rip at United’s hierarchy on social networking site Twitter while on tour in the US late last month.
Enrique questioned the club’s transfer policy in a series of emotional tweets, and was fined two weeks’ wages for those comments, which signalled the beginning of the end of his Newcastle career.
Enrique joined the club from Villarreal four years ago in a £6.3m deal and after adjusting to the demands of English football, has gone on to establish himself as one of the leading left-backs in the Premier League.
However, he’s not been called up by his country at senior level, something which a move to Liverpool could hasten.
Enrique – who has a year left on his contract – has refused to enter talks with the club over a new long-term deal.
And it seems Enrique’s appearance in the abandoned friendly against Fiorentina was his last for United.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Pieters, a Holland international, was watched by Newcastle last weekend.
A long-standing friend of United goalkeeper and Dutch countryman Tim Krul, ambitious Pieters is understood to be keen on a move to the Premier League.
Krul told De Telegraaf in Holland earlier this week: “We are interested. The coach himself and the assistants have already seen a few matches of PSV, and the question now is whether the clubs can work it out.”