Derby County have seen a bid for Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens turned down, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.
Derby are scouring the transfer market in search of midfield reinforcements after losing Will Hughes, Craig Bryson, Jeff Hendrick and Jamie Hanson to injury.
The Rams have seen a bid for Huddersfield Town's Jacob Butterfield rejected and have been scared off by Huddersfield's £5 million price-tag on the former Middlesbrough man.
Stephens has now emerged as a target for Derby boss Paul Clement with the 25-year-old regarded as one of the best midfielders in the Championship.
The classy midfielder has started all three of Brighton's games so far this season and Seagulls boss Chris Hughton is keen to keep hold of Stephens.
Derby are understood to have bid £1.75 million for Stephens which was flatly rejected by Brighton as they battle to keep hold of their best players at the Amex Stadium.
It remains to be seen if Derby will come back in with a renewed bid for Stephens before the close of the transfer window.