Sunderland have been credited with an interest in Oldham defender George Edmundson.
Football Insider reporter Peter O'Rourke claims Sunderland, Stoke City and Preston North End are all tracking the 21-year-old centre back ahead of the summer transfer window.
Highly-rated Edmundson was named in the PFA League Two Team of the Year this season.
Sunderland are likely to be in the market for a new central defender in the summer regardless of which division the Black Cats find themselves in.
The report states: "Edmundson is entering the final year of his contract at Oldham and the Latics are bracing themselves for offers for their prize asset this summer.
"The 21-year-old, who has progressed into the first-team from Oldham’s youth academy, has been a virtual ever-present this season, making 52 appearances in all competitions."
Both Stoke and Preston have been keeping regular tabs on the defender's progress.