"Swansea City are set to challenge Newcastle in the battle to sign Watford defender Adrian Mariappa with a bid worth £3.5 million before the end of the weekend.
Brendan Rodgers, the Swansea manager, wants the 25-year-old to bolster his defence after accepting he will not be able to turn Steven Caulker's loan move from Tottenham into a permanent deal.
There are also concerns at the Liberty Stadium that Spurs could recall the central defender to the club before the end of the month, with the likes of William Gallas currently sidelined through injury at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham have already ordered Swansea to leave Caulker out of their squad to feature in this weekend’s FA Cup clash against Bolton to avoid him becoming cup-tied.
Mariappa, however, will line up for Watford - against Tottenham - on Friday night in the FA Cup fourth round, but that could be his last fixture for the Hornets.
The centre-back was the subject of a failed bid from Newcastle earlier this week worth an initial £750,000 rising to £3m. Watford are understood to want £4m for Mariappa but could be tempted to cash in on a straight cash bid of £3.5m from Swansea.
“A bid from Swansea is imminent, they have been showing a strong interest and we could have a bidding war on our hands,” a source told Goal.com.
“Mariappa has made it known that he would like to move to a Premier League club but he’s not the kind of player who would kick up a fuss.”
Watford manager Sean Dyche insisted on Wednesday that the Championship club will not sell Mariappa unless a club meets their valuation.
"Unfortunately, as is often the case these days, their offer is nowhere near our valuation,” Dyche said of Newcastle’s offer. "That's the awkward side of the game now, and they do it for their own reasons.
"I couldn't begin to tell you how far away it was - my son's got more in his money box.”
Swansea have been eyeing a number of central defenders as they look to ensure Premier League survival and establish themselves in the top flight.
The centre-back pairing of Caulker and Ashley Williams have been in fine form but Rodgers wants more options, accepting the fact he will not be able to keep Caulker beyond this season given that the on-loan 19-year-old is regarded as a future star by Tottenham."