Chris Wilder has confirmed Sheffield United are refusing to withdraw a bid, believed to be in the region of £5m, for Martyn Waghorn as they attempt to test Ipswich Town's resolve to retain the centre-forward's services.
United, who also appear to have scored an important victory in the battle to keep Simon Moore at Bramall Lane, submitted an offer for Waghorn before Saturday's friendly against Mansfield Town despite acknowledging it fell short of their Championship rivals' asking price.
But The Star understands Town are yet to reject United's approach and, in an intriguing development, reportedly began monitoring Barnsley's Tom Bradshaw over the weekend. That, combined with suggestions Waghorn is keen to join Wilder's side, could pave the way for negotiations to begin in earnest; possibly ahead of United's friendly against Internazionale on Tuesday.
"Everyone knows we're interested, it's out there now, so there's no point in not talking about it," Wilder, the United manager, said. "We've put something to them and it's still there on the table. We'll leave it there and see what happens, see what their thoughts on it are."
"Listen, if we're talking the figures I've been reading about, between eight and ten million, then it won't be happening. But we've put forward something we think is good, reasonable and sensible. We've not really heard anything back as such yet. So we'll just leave the bid in there with them."
If United's pursuit of Waghorn is a success, it would see them break their transfer record for the second time in the space of a month following John Egan's £4m plus move from Brentford. The centre-half is poised to make his debut when Luciano Spalletti's side visit South Yorkshire for a match which will also see the South Stand renamed in honour of Tony Currie, officially United's greatest ever player.
Moore could also feature after returning to the bench for the draw with Town after recovering from a thigh problem. The goalkeeper had been the subject of a tentative enquiry from West Bromwich Albion but United responded by reiterating their desire to offer the 28-year-old a new contract. Significantly, Wilder also acknowledged Luke Steele had left the club before the trip to Field Mill after a brief trial spell.
"Yes, that's finished now (the trial)," he said. "Simon is back training and we thought about bringing him on for 20 minutes of so (against Mansfield). But we decided against it because we didn't want to upset the flow of the game too much at that stage."