Colchester United are running the rule over Cardiff City’s creative midfielder Tommy O’Sullivan.

The highly-rated Wales under-21 international, who is believed to have been told he can find a new club by Cardiff, impressed for the U’s under-23s in the first half in their 3-2 win at Ipswich Town yesterday.

He netted their opener from a free-kick that went in off the underside of the bar, in front of watching Colchester boss John McGreal.

O’Sullivan, 21, began his career at Cardiff after progressing through their academy and signing his first professional contract for the Championship club in 2012.

His made his professional debut as a substitute for the Bluebirds in their League Cup defeat to Northampton Town in August, 2012.

And O’Sullivan, who was named Wales’ young player of the year in 2015, made another first-team appearance for Cardiff later that season, in an FA Cup defeat at non-League Macclesfield Town.

O’Sullivan, who has also represented Wales at under-17 and under-19 level, made five appearances in League One for Port Vale during a three-month loan spell, in the 2014-15 campaign.

And the midfielder, who is out of contract at Cardiff this summer, spent much of last season at Newport County in League Two, making 22 appearances and scoring once during two separate loan spells.

Colchester also gave Cork City right winger Stephen Dooley the opportunity to impress in their under-23 clash with Ipswich yesterday.

The 25-year-old winger joined Cork from Derry City last January and played in all of their Europa League games last season, in addition to their FAI Cup final win over Dundalk.

Meanwhile, Colchester’s Head of Player Resources Iain Moody insists the club do not want to lose any of their best players this month.

The U’s are one of the country’s in-form teams having chalked up five successive wins and their performances are attracting plenty of attention.

However, Moody has stressed that the U’s do not want any of the players who have played their part in helping the club move into the play-off places, over recent weeks.

Moody said: “In some ways, it’s a good thing if there is interest because it means that we’re doing well.

“But it’s certainly not part of the plan to lose any of our players and we’re trying to move the club forward.

“I’d be very surprised if there’s any outward movement that’s not part of our forward plan.

“In January, it’s easier to sell rather than buy in general but the bigger moves to generally tend to happen more in the summer.”