EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

QPR and Barnsley have joined Sheffield Wednesday in the race to sign Sunderland defender Adam Matthews on a free transfer this summer, Football Insider understands.

Football Insider revealed earlier this week that Wednesday have set their sights on landing the right-back when his contract expires at the League One club next month.

A source close to the player has told Football Insider that Championship outfit QPR and newly-promoted Barnsley are also lining up moves for ex-Celtic star Matthews.

The trio are ready to table contract offers to the 27-year-old, who has made 28 appearances in all competitions for Sunderland this season and been instrumental in them reaching the League One play-off final.

Matthews has spent the last four years at the Stadium of Light and has 14 full Wales caps as well as represented Celtic in the Champions League.

Sunderland’s only chance of keeping hold of Matthews, who is eager to be back in the Championship next season, is by winning the League One play-off final against Charlton on Sunday week.

The full-back made 150 appearances for Celtic before joining the Black Cats and has also represented hometown club Cardiff City and Bristol City.

In other Sheffield Wednesday news, the club are in advanced talks to sign a 25-year-old from London club.