Newcastle United are ready to challenge Middlesbrough for Reading midfielder James Harper.

Boro are turning to Harper after dropping behind Aston Villa in the race for Chelsea's Steve Sidwell and the Sunday says Newcastle are also keen.

The dynamic midfield player has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave Reading now that they have been relegated and he will now take up that option.

Harper wants to stay in the Premier League and the asking price will be around £5m.