SAMMIE Szmodics is being linked with a move away from Bristol City.

And that could be of particular interest to Colchester United - and not just because the talented attacker is a former U's favourite.

Szmodics left the U's for Bristol City, last summer having scored 40 goals in 165 career games for his home-town club.

But the 24-year-old is being tipped for a move back to League One side Peterborough United, where he enjoyed a successful loan spell last season, scoring four goals in ten games.

Ivan Toney has just made a £6.5 million transfer from Posh to Championship side Brentford, a fee that could potentially rise, with add ons, to £10 million.

And now there is speculation that Peterborough might now use some of the Toney money to buy Szmodics - if Bristol City decide to let the former U's academy player go.

That could bring the U’s a healthy sell-on fee if, as expected, the U's factored that into the deal when they sold Szmodics to the Robins for an undisclosed fee which was believed to be in the region of £700,000, last summer.

Sunderland - and former U's boss Phil Parkinson - are also believed to be interested in signing Szmodics.

Speaking at last summer's Colchester United Open Day, little more than a fortnight after Szmodics left for pastures new, U's chairman Robbie Cowling said: "In the Premiership, a lot of the money is about what the players are sold or bought for.

"But where we are as a club, we're not just interested in just what we get for say, Sammie Szmodics now.

"We structured a deal with Bristol (City) that gives us sell ons, gives us money if he's named in certain teams of the year and how he does.

"So we've got a lot of different ways of how the club can earn into the future, out of Sammie doing well."

Peterborough have already made it clear that they would like to sign Szmodics permanently following his successful loan spell at London Road, last season.

In February, Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony said of Szmodics: “He’s a proper little workaholic. We feel really confident that if all goes well and if Bristol City allow him to move in

the summer (2020) we’ll try and do something there.”

Szmodics' future at Bristol City is seemingly unclear, as Dean Holden assesses his squad ahead of the new season.

The new Robins boss has admitted that they possess too many midfielders, in their squad.

City had ten substitutes on the bench for their pre-season friendly with Swindon Town on Saturday.

In the 66th minute of the match City brought on six of them - but Szmodics, who is under contract until 2022, was one of the four unused substitutes.

Last season, the former Stanway School pupil made only three league appearances for Bristol City.

He did not play a full 90 minutes in any of the three matches and has so far played only 116 minutes of league football for the Championship side.