IBM cut its offering price for Sun Microsystems Inc to $9 to $10 per share, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The same newspaper reported last month that International Business Machines Corp could pay around $10 to $11 per share. IBM officials were not immediately available for comment.

Sources with knowledge of the matter have told Reuters that IBM was in talks to buy Sun and that it was conducting due diligence, although they could not confirm any deal price.

A takeover of Sun would give IBM a clear lead in the server market against Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc . It would also broaden IBM's software portfolio and give the company an edge against Cisco Systems Inc , which some see as its biggest rival in the long term.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)