Sunderland’s young guns Duncan Watmore and Tom Beadling are in demand after fellow prospect Jordan Pickford headed out on loan.
Goalkeeper Pickford joined Preston North End on a season-long loan last week after Sunderland were sufficiently tempted by the prospect of the England Under-20 international getting a chance to play regular first-team football in the Championship.
There has been an enquiry from an SPL outfit for centre-half Beadling.
But there is also interest in academy products Beadling and Watmore, who like Pickford, have spent the pre-season campaign training with Dick Advocaat’s first-team squad.
There has been an enquiry from an SPL outfit for centre-half Beadling, who is likely to head out on loan at some stage this season to get his first taste of competitive football.
Sunderland rate Beadling highly and have been keen for the 19-year-old to be involved during the pre-season programme, yet with John O’Shea, Wes Brown, Sebastian Coates and Younes Kaboul ahead of him in the pecking order, his first-team chances with the Black Cats are likely to be limited.
Watmore’s prospects of featuring for Advocaat’s side are far better, yet the forward is facing a pivotal campaign in his Sunderland career.
The ex-Altrincham man was crowned Under-21 Premier League Player of the Season last year, yet still hasn’t made his top flight debut for the Black Cats, while he was used sparingly during the pre-season friendlies.
It is understood that was due to Sunderland’s coaching staff being wary of leaving Watmore burned out after he featured for England U20s during the summer’s Toulon Tournament.
But with only 12 months left to run on his contract, there remain question marks over whether Advocaat will use Watmore in the Premier League after opting against using the 21-year-old in the final nine games of last season.
League One pair Oldham and Scunthorpe are both interested in taking Watmore on loan, while Birmingham are also thought to be admirers.
Sunderland’s hierarchy are keen to see Watmore involved in the first-team frame, but the player himself can ill-afford another season confined to the U21 squad.
However, Watmore does appear to be ahead of fellow winger Will Buckley in Advocaat’s plans after he was preferred in the squad for Sunderland’s final pre-season friendly in Germany.
Meanwhile, Sunderland U21 striker Mikael Mandron is a target for Scottish Premiership Partick Thistle.
Mandron has been prolific for the U21s over the last two years, yet he has struggled to make an impression during two loan spells in the Football League - making just three appearances in a stint Shrewsbury last season.