Liam Boyce could reportedly swap Burton Albion for League One rivals Sunderland – though Hearts are interested too.

Sunderland are confident of raiding League One rivals Burton Albion for Liam Boyce, according to the Northern Echo, with Phil Parkinson’s side expected to outbid Hearts for the striker’s signature.

The mere name of Liam Boyce will send a shiver down the spines of Black Cats fans everywhere. It was his 92nd minute winner at the Stadium of Light in April 2018 that consigned the fallen Northern giants to a second successive relegation after just a single season in the Championship.

But Boyce could end this month with plenty more admirers than enemies on Wearside – such is the fickle nature of football.

Parkinson’s goal-shy Sunderland are crying out for a new centre-forward and who better than a Northern Ireland international who has scored seven times in the third tier this season – 13 in all competitions?

The Northern Echo points out that Boyce is out of contract at the end of this season and Sunderland, who value the Burton talisman at £250,000, are increasingly confident of beating Scottish Premiership strugglers Hearts to his sought-after signature. The Chronicle backs up those claims, saying that the north east is the 28-year-old’s most likely destination.

A skilful striker who loves dropping into a deeper role and linking play, Boyce could be the perfect man to knit things together in Sunderland’s rather ill-fitting attack. He also broke the 20 goal barrier in each of his final two seasons with Ross County before moving south of the border.

In other news, Report: £3.7m man in contact with Gerrard over Rangers move as reps push for loan