Are Doncaster Rovers preparing for Sunderland target Niall Mason's departure?

Chris Coleman manager of Sunderland celebrates after the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Sunderland at iPro Stadium on March 30, 2018 in Derby, England.

Championship trio Sunderland, Birmingham and Hull City are all interested in Niall Mason, who is impressing for Doncaster Rovers in League One.

Niall Mason of Doncaster Rovers during the Sky Bet League Two match between Doncaster Rovers and Exeter City at Keepmoat Stadium on April 29, 2017 in Doncaster, England.

One day after The Sun claimed that Sunderland, Birmingham and Hull City are all hoping to sign Niall Mason, are Doncaster Rovers taking steps to ensure the centre-back is replaced adequately this summer?

Sunderland appear to be preparing for relegation to League One right now and, according to The Sun, are putting together a list of young, affordable and promising targets who are proven in the third tier of English football.

And 21-year-old Mason, who has impressed at the heart of Doncaster’s defence this season, fits the bill. The former Aston Villa youngster has just one year left on his contract and could be within budget even for a cash-strapped Sunderland side.

Doncaster Rovers' English midfielder Niall Mason (R) wins a header from Arsenal's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez during the English League Cup third round football match between Arsenal...

Just 24 hours later, the Doncaster Free Press is reporting that Rovers boss Darren Ferguson is keen to keep Burnley loanee Tom Anderson at the Keepmoat Stadium beyond the end of this season.

The 24-year-old centre-back joined Doncaster in January and, despite being sidelined since February with a fractured cheekbone, has still done enough to impress the club’s chiefs. Anderson will be a free agent when his Burnley contract expires in the summer and Ferguson has confirmed that he will hold talks with Clarets counterpart Sean Dyche about a permanent deal.

Darren Ferguson, manager of Doncaster Rovers shows appreciation to the fans during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Doncaster Rovers at Emirates Stadium on September...

Sunderland may be hoping the transfer goes through, because it could make their chances of signing Mason this summer a little better.

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