Sheffield Wednesday face fight to sign Chelsea defender Michael Hector
Sheffield Wednesday face competition from relegated Fulham in their attempts to land centre-half Michael Hector on a permanent deal this summer.
Sources in the capital say the Cottagers have expressed an interest in signing Hector as they prepare for life back in the Championship.
Fulham, who splashed out over £100million on players last year, want to strengthen their leaky defence during the close season - and Hector has emerged as a transfer target.
Hector has enjoyed an impressive campaign on loan at Hillsborough, featuring 41 times and scoring two goals, including a penalty in their season finale against Queens Park Rangers. His superb form culminated in him scooping the club's player of the season award.
The Jamaican international, a big hit with the Wednesday faithful, is entering the final year of his Chelsea contract.
And Hector has made it clear he would like to remain at S6 on a full-time basis.
“I have made it clear that I would be happy to stay but things need to be sorted out now the season has finished," he said.
“There’s not much I can say (to Chelsea), it’s just whether the clubs can sort something out and hopefully I can continue here next season."
It is understood discussions have already taken place between the Owls and Chelsea. Reports in the national press suggest Wednesday could have to pay in the region of £3m to prize Hector away from Stamford Bridge.
Boss Steve Bruce said: "If at all possible, we would like to keep Michael Hector and we would like to reach a fee.
"Why should not I want to keep Michael Hector? He has had a magnificent year with us, and his form since I arrived in February has been simply superb."