Sussex are leading the chase for Tymal Mills, the left-arm fast bowler, after he turned down the offer of a new contract from Essex.
Worcestershire are another suitor for Mills, whose potential is valued within England coaching ranks, but whose embryonic career has so far been plagued by injury and inconsistency.
Sussex had another mid-table finish in Division One of the Championship this season, but their pace attack is heavily reliant on the Australian, Steve Magoffin, and Mills would swell limited resources. Sussex's reputation for reinvigorating careers - with England's Chris Jordan the most persuasive example - might also work in their favour.
Mills has had an injury-hit career since making his debut against the Sri Lankans in 2011, managing just 29 first-class matches to date where he has taken 52 wickets at 35.59 although has often been touted as an England prospect.
In 2013 he gave England a scare when he struck Graeme Swann on the hand during the warm-up match involving Essex and was also taken to Australia to bowl in the nets at the start of the return Ashes in an attempt to prepare for facing Mitchell Johnson.
He made six Championship match appearances in 2014 before a back injury in late July limited him to just one subsequent outing.
"It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to leave Essex. I want to thank the club for giving me my introduction into professional cricket and in particular to John Childs, for my time spent on the Academy, and then Chris Silverwood, who has helped me no end since turning Professional.
"I am excited for the next chapter in my career and wish the club all the best moving forward."
Paul Grayson, the Essex head coach, told the club's website: "We are of course disappointed that Tymal has decided to leave the club, especially as he is one of our own from the Essex Academy.
"There was an attractive new contract offer on the table for him but he has decided to reject and continue his career with a new club."
This story was updated at 1045 on October 2 to reflect the interest of Sussex and Worcestershire