Report: Newcastle able to cover Steven Caulker's wages as QPR board prepare to ignore Hasselbaink's desire to keep him

General view outside St James' Park

The Hoops may be about to let the centre-back join their Championship rivals.

Tottenham's Harry Kane in action with QPR's Steven Caulker

Newcastle United appear to be in the driving seat to land Steven Caulker after the Daily Record claimed that the Magpies were able to cover his entire wage.

Though Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has previously spoken of wanting to keep the centre-back as he prepares for his first full season in charge at Loftus Road, the Record claims that the Hoops' board are ready to let the one-time England international leave the club in some capacity as they seek to bring down costs.

Liverpool's Steven Caulker

And while Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is interested in a reunion with the defender that he signed on loan when he was in charge at Swansea, it is Rangers' Championship rivals that have the upper-hand in the race as the Record states that they are capable of paying all of his £30,000 a week wages.

Caulker has endured a fairly miserable spell over the last few years so may appreciate the opportunity to join Rafael Benitez's side as they are understandably one of the big favourites to secure automatic-promotion back to the Premier League.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

The 24-year-old went on loan to both Southampton and Liverpool last season but failed to make much of an impact for either club - his final appearance for the Saints came in the 6-1 League Cup thrashing at the hands of the side he would join just one month later, while he was predominantly used as a striker during his time at Anfield - and had to endure the heartbreak of relegation from the top flight in the two seasons before that. 

But a move to St James' Park should allow Caulker to once again prove why he has been so highly-rated in the past. Newcastle are arguably lacking depth when it comes to experience at the heart of their defence, so the former Cardiff City man may reflect on a potential move to Tyneside as an opportunity to cement himself as a key man in a team that clearly has enough quality to go on and achieve much better things. 

General view outside St James' Park

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