Scunthorpe United midfielder Duane Holmes is thought to have been speaking to Sunderland about a summer switch to the Stadium of Light. The American-born midfielder is a man in demand and has also been linked with Rotherham, Blackburn and Derby.
The 23-year-old has a year left on his current deal with the Iron and is considering his options. Holmes was born in the USA but moved to England at the age of four. He started out on the books of Huddersfield and made over 20 appearances for the West Yorkshire outfit before being released in 2016.
Standing at 5ft 4in, Holmes has turned out nearly 100 times for Scunthorpe, weighing in with a dozen goals from midfield. Holmes came of age last season and netted nine times from the right wing as he aided his side in reaching the Play-offs. He can also play centrally behind the striker and that attacking versatility gained him plaudits last term including end-of-season awards from Scunny fan groups.
Sunderland have also been linked with Holmes' teammate Hakeeb Adelakun but the Hackney-born winger is said to be on the verge of joining Championship side Bristol City. The Black Cats have yet to make their first signing of the summer ahead of the squad assembling for pre-season training.
New boss Jack Ross faces a huge summer of upheaval. Most of the first team squad who were relegated into League One are said to be keen to leave the club this summer as the Black Cats face up to life in English football's third tier.
Holmes is eligible to play for the USA or England and has been strongly tipped to be Frank Lampard's first signing as Derby boss. Sunderland look strongly positioned to snatch the midfielder though, and landing the promising attacking midfielder would be a good start to the Black Cats summer transfer business.