James DeGale is in talks to face English super-middleweight rival Chris Eubank Jr, ESPN understands.
After winning back the IBF world super-middleweight belt from American Caleb Truax in April, DeGale relinquished the IBF world title last week rather than go through with a mandatory defence against Venezuela's Jose Uzcategui.
DeGale (24-2-1, 14 KOs), 32, who won back the world title from Caleb Truax in April after a shock points loss to the American in December, is free to pursue a fight against an opponent of his choice.
And top of the list is Eubank Jr, who was beaten on points by George Groves in February, for a date in October or November.
DeGale, from London, had been linked with a catchweight fight with WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders for Sept.15. But a source has told ESPN the 2008 Olympic middleweight gold medallist is instead hoping to face Eubank Jr, who he has swapped insults with since sparring together in 2012.
"Eubank, he's run his mouth, his dad's got a massive issue with me, so I think hopefully his wish is going to come true," DeGale told Boxing News Online. "His wish could be coming true, so we'll see. There's a lot of options out there.
"Sometimes it doesn't have to be a world championship. It's just about the grudge and two quality fighters fighting and making it an event which people want to see."
Eubank Jr (26-2, 20 KOs), 28, from Brighton, has not fought since and is also a reserve for the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final between WBA champion Groves and Callum Smith, both of England, which is expected to be confirmed for September and possibly in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
DeGale, who has had just one fight in the UK in his last six outings, also has the option of challenging WBC titleholder David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs), 21, of America, or WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez (38-0, 25 KOs), 27, of Mexico.
"I think that's another possible fight, Benavidez," added DeGale. "He's game, throws a lot of punches. He's very ambitious. He think he's the best, he's confident and he's a good fighter. Ramirez I don't think is looked at as good but he's still a quality fighter."