Bengaluru, January 7: Premier League strugglers Newcastle United are said to beconsidering a surprise bid to try to sign Joe Hart this month.
Magpies boss Rafa Benitez is looking at ways he can strengthen his squad to ensure they can pull away from relegation danger over the second half of the season.
And one of the players said to be in his sights is West Ham's outcast keeper Hart.
The Mirror say Newcastle have made discreet enquiries to see whether they could tempt the 30-year-old to St James' Park in January.
Hart has seen his season-long loan move to West Ham turn sour having been axed after a series of poor performances earlier in the season.
He is now having to kick his heels on the bench with Hammers boss David moyes opting to go with Spanish stopper Adrian as his first choice instead.
His lack of regular games is putting Hart's position as England number one in jeopardy as the World Cup approaches.
England boss Gareth Southgate has made it clear in the past that he wants his players to be playing regular first team football.
And with Hart looking likely to be on the bench for the foreseeable future at the London Stadium, his status as number one is in major doubt.
Everton keeper Jordan Pickford and Stoke's Jack Butland are both making a major push for a starting role with England, especially the latter.
And Newcastle are trying to find out whether the need to get back playing is strong enough to tempt him to end his loan with West Ham early.
Benitez tried to sign Hart from Manchester City on loan last summer, but lost out to the Hammers in the race for his signature.
But if he could revive a deal in the next few weeks, the Toon boss is believed to be keen to take him into his plans.
Hart's £120,000-a-week wages are being paid by West Ham under the terms of their loan deal, after City failed to find a willing buyer on a permanent £20million deal last summer.
An option was inserted into the West Ham deal for a permanent move if all went well, but Hart's struggles this season mean club and player are unlikely to take up that deal this summer.