Birmingham City's latest bid for Sheffield United's Che Adams has been rejected, according to sources in the Midlands.
The Championship club submitted an improved offer, potentially worth £1.7m including add-on payments, earlier this week.
But Bramall Lane's board of directors now appear to have also knocked that bid back, prompting Gary Rowett to begin exploring possible alternatives in the transfer market. City's manager remains interested in Adams, though, and could make a third approach if he receives the go-ahead from St Andrews' hierarchy.
United's stance represents another blow to Rowett's hopes of boosting his attacking options before the start of the new season.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel, another City target, moved from to Vitesse Arnhem from Norwich City after being tracked by representatives acting on Rowett's behalf for nearly a month.
Adams, aged 20, joined United from Ilkeston two years ago and scored 12 goals in 41 appearances last season.