MARK Sykes is in talks with Sky Bet Championship club Bristol City, according to reports.

The Oxford United midfielder is out of contract this summer and head coach Karl Robinson has previously said he expects him to leave.

Reports that City are interested in Sykes are believed to have substance, with Bristol World now claiming the 24-year-old and his representatives met manager Nigel Pearson at the second-tier club’s training ground this week.

READ MORE: Summer transfer window 2022 - dates, deals and Oxford United links

The Robins boss attended United’s win over MK Dons at the Kassam Stadium on April 19 to monitor potential targets, among them the Irishman.

Pearson denied he was also watching Elliott Moore that night, but rumours that the centre back is a City target are not going away.

Sykes was left out of the squad for the U’s final game of the season against Doncaster Rovers, with Robinson stating he would pick players he expected to be at the club for 2022/23.

It was a low-key end to the former Glenavon man’s most productive campaign since joining United in January 2019.

Sykes scored eight times in 45 appearances, claiming another five assists, although his last goal came on New Year’s Day.

His displays attracted the interest of eventual Sky Bet League One winners Wigan Athletic, who submitted a bid for the versatile midfielder on transfer deadline day in January.

Championship high-fliers Huddersfield Town were also reportedly monitoring Sykes during the winter window.