Leicester City are set to step up their interest in Burnley centre-half James Tarkowski this week - with a £30million swoop.
West Ham have already started a bidding war for the England international, 27, who has two years left on his current Clarets deal.
But the Irons’ £25m offer – tabled yesterday – will be rejected by Burnley.
They are desperate to keep Tarkowski and have slapped a £50m price tag on the ex-Brentford star.
However, Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers, a long-term admirer of Tarkowski, is now poised to enter the scrap.
Leicester’s opening shot will be around the £30m mark and the Midlands club are prepared to go even higher if necessary.
That is last thing Clarets manager Sean Dyche needs to hear as he fights to retain the core of the squad that finished an impressive tenth last term.
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He was unhappy in June when the board released out-of-contract Jeff Hendrick, Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon and Adam Legzdins before the end of the extended 2019-20 season.
That led to him naming inexperienced youngsters on the bench during the run-in.
Losing someone of Tarkowski’s calibre would be another crushing blow for Dyche, who has worked miracles at elite level on a relative shoestring budget.