Jamie Sterry, the impressive Hartlepool United wing-back, is attracting interest from Sunderland.
The Black Cats are one of a number of clubs who are keen on the former Newcastle United prospect, who enjoyed a fine season with Pools.
Sterry is out of contract at Victoria Park and Pools have made him an offer that would make him one of the club’s highest paid players.
But, amid interest from Oldham, Walsall and Bolton too, Pools face an anxious few days to see if his future is in League Two with Pools.
Sterry has ambitions to play higher and he hoped last year to secure a move to a Championship or League One club after his release from St James’ Park.
But lockdown and the impact of the season being curtailed meant he was unable to find a club.
After a handful of games for South Shields, he moved to Pools and became a key performer in getting Dave Challinor’s side back in the Football League.
He scored in the penalty shoot-out win over Torquay in last weekend’s play-off final and Gulls’ boss Gary Johnson has since alerted his son, Sunderland boss Lee, of his ability and availability.
There’s no doubt Sterry, 25, could perform at a higher level than League Two. But he has admitted that the season with Pools was the most enjoyable period of his career to date and Challinor hopes that will help keep him at the club.
Pools are seeking a goalkeeper and it has been claimed they are in talks with former No1 Trevor Carson.
Goalkeeping coach Ross Turnbull has left Pools for a role with Chelsea and the experience of Carson, who spent two seasons with Pools before leaving for Motherwell after relegation in 2017, would help develop Ben Killip, who has been offered new terms.
There was no real shocks in Pools’ retained list and this week is about ensuring that those who have been offered deals will remain at the club.
The players have a ten-day break before they are back for pre-season training ahead of the League Two season starting with a home game against Crawley Town on August 7.