Liverpool have strengthened their scouting department ahead of a critical summer transfer window by employing the man responsible for bringing Gareth Bale to Tottenham Hotspur.
Mel Johnson has been placed in charge of southern England scouting in a revamped Anfield recruitment system devised by Damien Comolli, the club's director of football strategy. Johnson previously worked under Comolli at Tottenham, where he highlighted Bale's performances as a teenage reserve at Southampton ahead of an eventual £7 million (Dh42.4m) transfer.
Johnson, who has more than 25 years experience in football, was compensated for unfair dismissal after Harry Redknapp decided to replace him as chief scout with Ian Broomfield in 2009. He then worked for Newcastle United on a freelance basis.
Elsewhere, Stoke City and Birmingham City are foremost among a group of teams interested in signing Robert Snodgrass from Leeds United. Newcastle United, Everton and West Bromwich Albion have also expressed an interest in the Scot, who is entering the final year of his contract at Elland Road.
While Leeds resisted all offers for Snodgrass last summer, they may be forced to cash in on their principal creative force should they fail to achieve promotion to the Premier League this season, with £5m the expected fee.
Leeds dropped out of the Championship play-off places on Friday evening following a goalless draw at home to Reading.