Sunderland's hopes of offloading Liam Bridcutt have been boosted by Leeds maintaining their interest in the midfielder.
Bridcutt has absolutely no future at the Stadium of Light and is equally keen to leave Sunderland himself after failing to appear for the Black Cats last season.
But the £2.5million signing has another 12 months remaining on his Sunderland contract and while he is far from among the club's top earners, he is still proving to be a drain on the wage bill.
Leeds were keen to convert Bridcutt's loan into a permanent switch at the end of last season after making 27 appearances for the Championship outfit during a six-month loan spell.
However, the sacking of manager Steve Evans - a huge fan of Bridcutt - had thrown into doubt whether Leeds would push ahead with their plans for the 27-year-old.
But after the appointment of new boss Garry Monk, Leeds are thought to still be interested in signing Bridcutt, although Sunderland would still want a fee for the ex-Brighton man.
Sunderland put a £1million asking price on Bridcutt's head 12 months ago and a bid of around £500,000 would probably be acceptable now for a player who has a host of admirers in the Championship.
The bigger obstacle for Leeds would be whether they could agree personal terms with Bridcutt, who is on significantly more than the club's top earners.
There were other Championship clubs interested in Bridcutt during the January transfer window, but his former employers Brighton are not thought to be interested in his signature.
However, he is one of two ex-Brighton players that Sam Allardyce needs to shift, with winger Will Buckley in the same category of unwanted Sunderland players.
Buckley made 10 appearances for Birmingham during a loan spell at the end of last season, and like Bridcutt, has another year to run on his Sunderland contract.
Both are duo to return to the Academy of Light when the Sunderland squad reports for pre-season duty in two installments on Friday, July 1 and Monday, July 4.