Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Sheffield United and Fulham have joined Nottingham Forest in the race to lure Siriki Dembele from Peterborough United by next Monday’s transfer cut-off, Football Insider understands.

The 24-year-old attacker wants out of the League One club and, as revealed by this site on 4 January, has already handed in a transfer request.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Premier League duo United and Fulham are preparing bids for Dembele and Forest are also readying a new move.

Football Insider revealed last week that Forest have offered a £250,000 loan-to-buy deal for Dembele.

Director of football Barry Fry has claimed his club would never accept that but admitted Forest’s interest in his in-demand attacker.

Dembele is keen to push through a permanent exit from London Road in the next week.

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He does not want to wait until the summer, although the player’s stance has not gone down well with Posh chiefs.

Celtic and Rangers are also keeping close tabs on Dembele, whose younger brother Karamoko is on the books at Parkhead.

But they are now lagging behind their rivals in the race to lure the forward in this window.

Dembele signed a three-year deal when he joined from Grimsby in 2018 and that would ordinarily expire this summer.

But both Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson and Fry have recently claimed he has “18 months” left on his deal, suggesting a 12-month option could have been triggered at some point.

A versatile winger who can operate on either flank, Dembele has scored six goals and provided seven assists from 23 matches this season.

He has continued to be a starter in Ferguson’s side and played 89 minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Ipswich Town.

In other news, Sheffield United have made an audacious double swoop on Premier League giants.