By Wayne Veysey

23rd Mar, 2021 | 7:00am

Sources: Sunderland, Portsmouth and Ipswich race to sign St Johnstone star Melamed

Sunderland, Portsmouth and Ipswich are keeping tabs on St Johnstone forward Guy Melamed, Football Insider understands.

Melamed, 28, has impressed at the Scottish Premiership side with eight goal contributions since joining in October from Maccabi Netanya.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that League One big hitters Sunderland, Portsmouth and Ipswich are eying the striker ahead of the summer window.

All three sides are battling for promotion and hoping to be able to offer Championship football next season.

Melamed had spent his entire career in Israel before heading to St Johnstone at the start of the season.

He has scored five goals and provided three assists in just 15 matches for the Scottish outfit, only nine of which have been stars.

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That has brought him attention from south of the border, with clubs aware he will be out of contract in the summer.

Portsmouth, Sunderland and Ipswich, regarded as the three biggest clubs outside of the top two divisions, have Melamed in their sights.

The trio’s budgets and the contract they will be able to offer the front man will be dependent upon how they fare in the coming weeks.

Sunderland are third in League One and just two points adrift of Peterborough United in the second automatic promotion spot.

Portsmouth, who appointed Danny Cowley as their new manager last week, and Ipswich, who sacked Paul Lambert and replaced him with Paul Cook, are seventh and ninth respectively.

In other news, Sunderland and Rangers have been hit by Jordan Jones “big blow” after key update.