Sunderland have been dealt a potential blow in their pursuit of Liam Boyce with the news that another club has entered the race.
According to Football Insider, Hearts are hoping to hijack the deal by lodging a £200,ooo bid for the 28-year-old.
Boyce is out of contract in the summer and as a result the Brewers are determined to sell him this month in order to attract a transfer fee.
Despite already adding Kyle Lafferty to the squad, the Black Cats are determined to strengthen their attacking line before the end of the month.
The Burton striker is one target for Phil Parkinson’s side, while another is Bristol City striker Antoine Semenyo.
But while Boyce is a top target, the Brewers’ boss admitted this week that he’s rejected two offers already for the striker.
Whether Hearts’ interest will impact Sunderland’s pursuit for the striker remains to be seen, but it will certainly make the rest of the January window interesting.
Can you name every Sunderland player’s shirt number this season?
Getting a deal done for Liam Boyce could be a great deal for Sunderland.
The striker has a proven track record at League One level and could be just the tonic for the Black Cats as they look to push on and make a late charge for promotion.
Hearts’ interest certainly complicates things but ultimately Phil Parkinson’s side should have enough to convince the 28-year-old to move to Wearside.
Of course a move will depend on finances, but if Sunderland want him then they’ll have to pay.