Leeds could cash in on right-back Sam Byram this summer, with Sunderland among a number of Premier League sides hovering.
Sunderland are in the market to boost their full-back options, with the departure of out-of-contract Anthony Reveillere leaving Dick Advocaat with Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt as his only specialists in that area.
The Black Cats have been tracking highly-rated prospect Byram for the past year, although they are not alone, with Liverpool, Newcastle and Southampton also keeping tabs on the 21-year-old.
Leeds rejected a £4.5million offer from Southampton 12 months ago, but it is thought that they may be more willing to sanction his departure this summer.
Byram is one of three coveted youngsters who have emerged through the Leeds academy system, along with Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook, but with only 12 months remaining on his contract, he is the most vulnerable to a big money exit.
That would give Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino the funds to back new manager Uwe Rosler, while also fulfil Byram’s ambition to play Premier League football.
Sources close to Byram have indicated that they don’t expect the defender’s future to be resolved imminently, despite rumours on social media that Sunderland have agreed a fee with Leeds
Sources close to Byram have indicated that they don’t expect the defender’s future to be resolved imminently, despite rumours on social media that Sunderland have agreed a fee with Leeds.
Rosler insisted yesterday that Leeds were not in the market for Chesterfield right-back Tendayi Darikwa after reports that the two clubs had entered into talks as a contingency option for Byram.
But Byram would fit Advocaat’s remit for attack-minded full-backs, which was one of the reasons behind the U-turn over a contract extension for Reveillere, with Sunderland opting to release the 35-year-old, rather than extend his deal.
The Leeds man is not the only target on Sunderland’s radar after the Black Cats made a loan move for Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson, even though West Ham remain favourites to re-sign the England international.
But Sunderland will look to complete a deal for at least one full-back this summer, while the revamp of their new-look defence will continue with the recruitment of a couple of centre-halves.
The Black Cats appear to be moving closer to landing last season’s loanee Sebastian Coates on a permanent deal from Liverpool, while they are also hoping to sign Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk.