Wanderers are ready to snatch USA international Stuart Holden from under the noses of Premier League rivals Blackburn Rovers and Burnley.

Owen Coyle is running the rule over the 24-year-old midfielder who is available on a free transfer from Houston Dynamo.

Scottish-born Holden was voted the MLS most valuable player last season and arrived in the UK to trial with Burnley a fortnight ago.

He trained with the Clarets ahead of their FA Cup game against MK Dons but chose not to stay with the Turf Moor club after it became clear that Coyle would be moving to the Reebok.

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce had expressed an interest in taking him to Ewood Park, reportedly offering him a four-year deal, but the former Sunderland trainee opted to follow Coyle to Wanderers to try and earn a deal.

He trained with the Wanderers squad yesterday, and will hope to become the new manager’s first signing of the transfer window.

Playmaker Holden has become a fixture of Bob Bradley’s USA squad and is tipped to go to this summer’s World Cup where he will face England in the group stages.

The duel British and American citizen scored on his debut against Grenada in the 2008 Gold Cup and has already earned 12 caps for his country.

He helped his club into the Western Conference finals last season before deciding to seek a move to Europe, and has also been linked with moves to Rangers and Aberdeen.

After moving to Texas at the age of 10, Holden played for Clemson University before being snapped up by Sunderland in March 2005. But he failed to make an appearance for the Stadium of Light men after an unprovoked attack outside a bar in Newcastle left him with a fractured eye socket.

He returned to the US four years ago and has represented his country at under-20 and under-23 levels, scoring at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Holden was also named US Soccer Humanitarian of the Year following his work with children’s cancer charities.