Sunderland could face a battle to keep some of their promising academy prospects, with Premier League giants Liverpool showing interest.
The Reds have reportedly taken three Black Cats youngsters on trial, with goalkeeper Luke Hewitson, striker Harrison Jones and winger James McConnel all on their radar.
According to the Sun's David Coverdale, "the under-14 trio will have a trial in front of Jurgen Klopp and Co with the view to switching clubs."
Should they sign, it wouldn't be the first time that Liverpool have signed players from Sunderland's academy, after the Reds acquired promising 15-year-old midfielder Luca Stephenson last year.
Liverpool would have to pay the Black Cats a compensation fee to sign the youngsters, yet the report goes on to say Sunderland still owe the Reds money for previous transfers.
And the interest from Premier League clubs doesn't end there, with Manchester United also monitoring the progress of 15-year-old Sunderland keeper Adam Richardson.
One player who has progressed through Sunderland's academy in recent times is winger Jack Diamond.
The 19-year-old talent secured a loan move to National League North side Spennymoor Town on Friday and made his debut in a 1-1 draw with Alfreton.
Diamond played the full 90 minutes but couldn't help his side claim all three points, despite Glen Taylor's 24st-minute opener at the Brewery Field.
Jordan Sinnott equalised from the penalty spot in the 74st minute for the visitors, meaning Spennymoor stay third in the table.