David Thompson has emerged as the latest target for West Bromwich Albion with local rivals Birmingham City also interested in the fiery midfielder.
The former Coventry City star is believed to have had tentative talks with Albion while Blues are monitoring the situation, should Liverpool make them an offer they can't refuse for Jermaine Pennant.
Thompson, aged 29, is a former England Under-21 international and was called into Sven Goran Eriksson's England squad on two occasions. He ended last season at Wigan Athletic but was released by manager Paul Jewell after only seven appearances for the Premier-ship outfit.
Thompson, who has also played for Liverpool and Blackburn, is a proven performer at Championship level and was a success with Coventry and Blackburn in the second tier.
It isn't the first time Blues and Albion have shared a common interest this summer, as Curtis Davies and Chris Perry have been on their shopping list. Albion have hitherto proved to be the more persuasive and will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of successes where Thompson is concerned.
With Diomansy Kamara sidelined for up to three months, the acquisition of Thompson will provide manager Bryan Robson with further attacking options. The exit of Tomasz Kuszczak, however, appears to be inching ever closer after Robson revealed that the club had turned down an undisclosed offer from Manchester United.
That means the League Cup holders have taken their proposed interest a stage further than initially thought while Robson has also said that talks are well underway to bring in Switzer-land's World Cup goalkeeper, Pascal Zuberbuhler.
While Robson says such a move would be made to challenge Kuszczak for the No 1 jersey, it will surely hasten the departure of Albion's Poland international to Old Trafford once an acceptable fee has been agreed.
Zuberbuhler cuts an imposing figure in goal and has won 44 caps for the Swiss national team. He kept a clean sheet for almost 400 minutes in the World Cup and has played for FC Basel for the last seven years.
"Talks are ongoing," Robson said. "He is a vastly experienced goalkeeper and, with Chris Kirkland going out, we need a replacement.
"Everyone knows that if we get any interest in Russell Hoult he would like another challenge and we are happy with that.
"We needed another goal-keeper to compete with Tomasz. He is No 1 with Switzerland and he was rated as one of the top couple of goalkeepers in the World Cup.
"It is up to Tomasz and him to challenge for a place, as Manchester United have given us an offer for Kuszczak, which we have turned down."
Robson dismissed suggestions, however, that England Under-18 goalkeeper Luke Daniels could be a contender this season.
The younster has made an excellent impression and recently penned a professional contract. Yet Robson is quite prepared to let him learn his trade away from the Championship.
Robson said: "I wouldn't have thought that Luke would be challenging the two we are talking about, as he is still developing. Most of his games will be in the reserves this season."