Sunderland and Hull are among the clubs chasing former Fleetwood Town midfielder Kyle Dempsey.
Dempsey is a free agent after turning down the offer of a new deal at Highbury.
The 24-year-old impressed for Fleetwood last season, making 30 appearances and scoring twice and providing four assists in all competitions as Joey Barton’s men reached the League One play-offs.
Dempsey saw his impressive campaign hit by a back injury in February which looked as if it would rule him out of the remainder of the season.
However, he recovered and following the coronavirus pandemic delay he was able to return for two play-off games against Wycombe.
And Dempsey’s availability on a free transfer has alerted a host of EFL clubs, Sunderland and EFL among them, who are looking to strengthen their midfield.
Dempsey, who was Fleetwood’s club record signing when he joined from Carlisle United in 2017, has made over 230 appearances in his career to date and played in the Championship while at Huddersfield.