By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

18th May, 2023 | 11:18am

Sources: Bristol City and Preston North End race to sign Ali Al-Hamadi

Bristol City and Preston are plotting moves for AFC Wimbledon forward Ali Al-Hamadi, sources have told Football Insider.

It is understood they lead the race for the 21-year-old forward among interest from a number of Championship clubs.

Wimbledon are aware of the growing interest around their prize asset, but they are reluctant to lose him and are holding out for a big offer to even consider cashing in on Al-Hamadi.

The Iraq international caught the attention of the Championship duo by hitting impressive form in the second half of the season in League Two.

Al-Hamadi scored 10 goals in 19 games for Wimbledon to help the side narrowly avoid relegation with a 21st-placed finish in League Two.

He only joined Wimbledon in January after completing a permanent move from League One side Wycombe Wanderers.

Get Exclusive transfers news at Football Insider's YouTube TV channel

Al-Hamadi struggled for game time at Wycombe in the first half of the season, making only nine league appearances for the club, all of which came as a substitute.

He failed to score or assist in his first five appearances for Wimbledon after being played out of position as a winger, but he immediately hit form after being handed a chance as a centre-forward.

Ten goals and one assist followed in the next 14 games, and Al-Hamadi quickly became Wimbledon’s first-choice striker.

He is under contract until summer 2025 after signing a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Dons in January.

In other news, Brentford confident of fending off Aston Villa’s Ivan Toney bid