Kevin Phillips fears Sunderland will lose Charlie Wyke this summer if they do not secure promotion.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend claimed the 28-year-old “is a player on the tip of everyone’s tongue” and suggested a Championship move could be in the pipeline.
Wyke has scored an impressive 27 goals in 47 games across all competitions this season – only Jonson Clarke-Harris has scored more in League One.
The Daily Mail claim scouts from Russian giants CSKA Moscow watched the striker earlier this month with “a number of clubs” interested in acquiring his services this summer.
A £600,000 signing from Bradford in 2018, Wyke has entered the final three months of his contract on Wearside.
When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs for his thoughts on the centre-forward’s future, Phillips said: “It’s a double-edged sword.
“The more he scores the more people will want him at the end of the day.
“If Sunderland don’t go up, there will be teams sniffing around – 100 per cent. I imagine he will score at least 30 this season and when you are posting numbers like that , naturally, someone is going to be sniffing around.
“Could he help a team get out of the Championship? He is a player on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
“If a club is looking for a striker of his mould, there is not many better in the Championship or League One.”