Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has confirmed Ipswich Town have been givenpermission to talk to midfielders Carlos Edwards and Grant Leadbitter.
Former Black Cats boss Roy Keane, now in charge at Portman Road, has made a joint bid to recruit the two men after a dreadful start to his side's Championship campaign.
Bruce said: 'We have given both players permission to go and speak with Roy. We'll see what develops after that.'
The Daily Mirror had reported the Tractor Boys had a £7million bid accepted for Leadbitter and Edwards as well as striker Daryl Murphy and defender Nyron Nosworthy as Keane looks to the core of his promotion-winning squad of 2006/07.
However, Bruce said he was not aware of suggestions that Ipswich were also interested in Murphy and Nosworthy.
Edwards, who was signed by Keane from Luton for £1.4million in January 2007, has been unable to command a regular place in the starting line-up in the Barclays Premier League.
Leadbitter has played a peripheral role so far this season at Sunderland following the summer arrivals of Lee Cattermole and Lorik Cana.
Ipswich have so far collected just one point from their opening four games and Keane is looking for improvement ahead of Saturday's visit of Preston to Portman Road.