Bury and Tranmere Rovers are among the north-west clubs monitoring Ryan Lowe's availability after MK Dons admitted the striker is keen to return to the area.
Lowe, 34, joined the Dons from Sheffield Wednesday in August 2012 and finished last season as their joint top scorer with 12 goals.
He has 12 months left on his deal but hopes to move closer to his young family who are still in Liverpool.
The BBC has learned that Bury would be keen to take Lowe back to Gigg Lane.
Lowe hit 28 goals for the Shakers to help them get out of League Two in 2010-11.
Tranmere are also interested, and
tried to sign him on loan last season,
but he returned to the Dons team and made a total of 42 appearances in League One last season, 14 of them as a substitute.
Speaking earlier this month,
Dons boss Karl Robinson told the Liverpool Echo:
"I'd love to keep Ryan Lowe at the club next season but his base is up north and if that's where he feels more comfortable it's a decision we'd have to make as a football club."