Steven Taylor gives Wellington Phoenix the edge in pursuit of Obafemi Martins

The former Newcastle United duo could be set to unite in New Zealand this season

Wellington Phoenix have an ace up their sleeve in the club's pursuit of marquee target Obafemi Martins with Steven Taylor looking to convince his former Newcastle United teammate to make the move.

Phoenix coach Mark Rudan has confirmed reports that Martins is in early discussions with the club after being frozen out by Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.

While any deal is still someway off from being done as the 33-year-old gets a second opinion on an injury in London, Rudan revealed Taylor's past relationship with Martins could give Wellington an edge.

"Obafemi looked after Taylor when he was a young kid coming through the ranks at Newcastle," Rudan told Newshub.

"He has a very strong rapport with him. He didn't know Steve was here before I mentioned it.

"They spoke last night, and Steven came back with some positive feedback himself. We're hopeful, but there is still a long way to go for anything to happen.

"He is a marquee type of player who would be great for this club, but we have to go through the right channels."

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Martins spent three seasons at Newcastle between 2006 and 2009 alongside Taylor after breaking through with Inter Milan.

The Nigerian international would then go on to play in Germany, Russia, America and China, with New Zealand now looming as his potential next destination.

Into his third season with Shanghai Shenhua, Martins has played just one league game for the club this year - but capped it off with a hat-trick.