LEEDS UNITED are chasing in-demand Ipswich Town skipper David Norris – but face stiff competition from Nottingham Forest and Hull City to land him.
The Tractor Boys midfielder, 30, will leave East Anglia this summer after failing to agree a new deal and is available on a free transfer.
Norris enjoyed an impressive 2010-11 campaign at Portman Road and was their top-scorer in all competitions with 11 goals, and his work-rate and energy made him a firm favourite with Ipswich fans following his £2m arrival from Plymouth Argyle in January 2008.
The Stamford-born player has rejected a two-year contract offer from boss Paul Jewell, having set in his heart on earning a three-year deal taking him beyond his 33rd birthday.
United, Forest and Hull appear to be at the front of the queue to sign the industrious, tough-tackling engine-room grafter, who was named the players’ player of the year at Town this term.
After the Whites’ final game of the season at QPR, boss Simon Grayson outlined that his priority in terms of summer recruitment would be bringing in some experienced, quality signings under the Bosman ruling.
Central midfield is clearly a key area for Leeds, especially given the potential loss of out-of-contract pair Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny.
Kilkenny is strongly tipped to leave United, with chairman Ken Bates admitting last week that he does not expect him to be part of Grayson’s squad in August.
And, despite declaring his desire to stay at Elland Road, Johnson’s future remains up in the air with the club thought to be unwilling to increase the final offer made to him earlier in the season.
Premiership outfit West Brom are rumoured to be circling, along with Nigel Pearson’s Hull.
Meanwhile, United and Championship new boys Southampton have been credited with an interest in Hibernian’s Icelandic midfielder Victor Palsson.
The powerfully-built 21-year-old, signed from Liverpool in January, has impressed since arriving at Easter Road and still has 12 months to run on the 18-month deal he signed in January.