Newly-promoted Hull City have begun talks with Sunderland over the permanent transfer of winger Ahmed Elmohamady, but face competition for his signature.
The Egypt international joined the Black Cats from Egyptian side ENPPI in 2010, but found his opportunities limited following Martin O’Neill’s arrival the following year.
Elmohamady moved to Hull on loan in August, being reunited with Steve Bruce, who had brought him to England when Sunderland manager.
He returned to the Stadium of Light in January following an injury crisis, but re-joined the Tigers later that month and played a significant part in their promotion.
Bruce has the option to make the loan deal permanent for £2 million, and it is believed he has already opened talks.
However, the Sunderland Echo reports that personal terms could be a stumbling block, with the parties so far unable to reach agreement.
That uncertainty has alerted rival clubs, one of which is also believed to be in the Premier League.
Earlier this month, Elmohamady, who is in the final 12 months of his contract on Wearside, said he wanted to move to Hull but had not ruled out a return to Sunderland.
"I don't know what will happen yet," he told the Hull Daily Mail. "It has been a long season. Now I'll relax and see what happens.
“I would like to be here with these players, these fans, and especially this manager - but we must wait and see."
Meanwhile, Sunderland have completed a deal for Altrincham forward Duncan Watmore.
The 19-year-old will join the club's development squad on July 1 after scoring 14 goals in 29 league starts for the Conference North side.