Sky Sports understands that Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers are leading the chase for Lens midfielder Samba Sow.
The Mali international has come close to sealing a switch to England in the past, with Nottingham Forest having expressed an interest.
The 24-year-old took in a trial spell at the City Ground last summer, but a deal fell through at the last minute.
Samba is hoping for better luck in 2013, as he feels his game is well suited to life in England.
Middlesbrough were believed to be heading the hunt for his signature at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, but have now slipped behind two of their Championship rivals.
Bolton and Blackburn are by no means the only sides in the running, but they are considered to be among the favourites to get a transfer over the line.