This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool are closing in on a move for Wigan midfielder Mohamed Diame on a free transfer, Goal.com can reveal.
The Senegalese star is out of contract at the end of the season and the Reds expect to hold talks in the next 10 days over a deal that would double his current salary to around £60,000-a-week.
Everton and Newcastle have also expressed an interest in the 24-year-old but Liverpool have raced into pole position as they look to bolster their midfield ahead of next season.
Reds manager Kenny Dalglish sees Diame as competition for Jay Spearing as a solid back-up to defensive midfielder Lucas, who has been out of action since suffering a serious knee ligament injury in November.
The Scot has spent in excess of £110 million since his return as manager last January but his budget for this summer will be limited to £30m and he is on the lookout for cost-effective signings.
Wigan have given up on trying to convince Diame to sign a new contract and Roberto Martinez admitted at the end of last week that all four of the Latics' out-of-contract players will be leaving the DW Stadium at the end of the season.
"There are four players out of contract and I expect them all to go - Hugo Rodallega, Momo Diame, Chris Kirkland and Steve Gohouri," the Wigan boss said on Friday.
The powerful French-born midfielder has been largely successful since his €3.8m (£3.1m) move from Rayo Vallecano in 2009 and has played 26 times this season.