Rangers are said to be one of three teams interested in signing Ross Stewart from Sunderland.
The recent Scottish call-up, 25, signed for the Black Cats in January 2021 from Ross County.
And such was his impact on Wearside that he earned the nickname “Loch Ness Drogba”.
But more importantly, he has 22 Ligue 1 goals this season and with big sides circling he looks destined to move up a league – even if Sunderland fail to win promotion.
Despite Stewart’s goals, they remain sixth in the table and risk missing out on the play-off places altogether when at one point this season they looked likely to finish in automatic promotion.
Stewart has just one year left on his contract with Stadium of Light after this season, but given what is at stake in the final months of the season, manager Alex Neil is unwilling to discuss contracts until the fate of Sunderland not known.
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But the Northern Echo claims Rangers are interested in bringing him back across the border.
If they were to launch a bid to sign him, they could face competition from current Premier League side Norwich City and Championship side Swansea City.
Ahead of Friday’s home game against Shrewsbury, Neil said: “Ross has done very well for us but the simple fact is that if we can continue to progress and get out of this league then naturally the players will want to be here. .and play here.
“It really is as simple as that.
“The simple fact is that he is our player under contract. He did well, but he did well because he was given a chance at this club. I’m sure he will respect that as well.
“But I don’t go into the remaining games worrying that if I don’t win them, or if we don’t win them, then Ross might see his future elsewhere. I don’t think about that with any of the players, that doesn’t even come to mind at the moment.”