Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has reportedly confirmed that his side are interested in signing Leeds United defender Jason Pearce.
The Blades boss told the BBC's Jonathan Buchan that he is working on a deal to bring the centre-back to Bramall Lane, but doing so could be difficult.
Pearce is captain at Leeds and has played in every one of the Whites games so far this season.
He is considered an integral part of David Hockaday’s plans at the moment, but Blades are hoping to capitalise on some of the instability around Elland Road.
Massimo Cellino has brought in a number of Italian players, to add a cosmopolitan feel to the squad at Leeds, but they have not had the desired effect so far.
The club have won just once in their first four fixtures, edging past Middlesbrough, and already the pressure is building on the team and the controversial head-coach.
Hockaday was almost sacked, by Cellino’s own admission, after Leeds' most recent defeat to Watford, but has held on to his job for now.
It appears to be little more than a stay of execution, though, and with a tough tie against Bradford upcoming in midweek he could be gone very soon.
If he does, it will be a relief to the majority of the Yorkshire club’s fan-base, but losing Pearce would likely bring back even more fears.
The 26-year-old is a robust defender who has proven to be one of the Whites better performers over recent campaigns and if he did take the drop to League One it would be a surprise.
Blades, however, are backed by the money they have receieved from Harry Maguire – the talented centre-half, who departed for Hull City earlier in the summer - and may invest some of the windfall they landed in his departure into trying to prise Pearce away.
If they cannot sign the Leeds man they are expected to try and loan a player in to fill the void at the heart of their defence – with Clough refusing to rule out a temporary return for Maguire.