COVENTRY CITY have entered the race for Steve Caldwell, who was stripped of the Sunderland captaincy last night in anticipation of a swift exit from the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats gave Caldwell permission to talk to the Sky Blues after a fee was agreed yesterday.
Burnley had previously had a bid of around 400,000 accepted and the competition may not be over with a third Championship club pondering a swoop for the Scotland international.
Sunderland manager Roy Keane told the Echo on Wednesday that Caldwell could go and has gone further by announcing Dean Whitehead as the new club captain.
Whitehead gets the armband permanently after being one of the players who have stood in as skipper this season while Caldwell has been absent with knee and hamstring problems.
Keane said: "Dean has really impressed me since I arrived at the club and I believe that he has all the qualities to be a top captain.
"Having spoken with him I made the decision to offer him the armband on a
permanent basis and he was delighted to accept it."
Caldwell will be bitterly disappointed with the haste of his fall from favour on Wearside.
He is out of contract at the end of this season and had not been offered a new deal, sparking interest from other clubs.
At the age of 26, Caldwell's next move will be an important one in his career. He has not asked to leave Sunderland, but with his exit now inevitable he will hope to find a club capable of challenging for promotion to the Premiership.