Both Leeds United and Aston Villa are up against it if they want to sign Bradley Dack this month.
The Sun (22nd January, page 50) reports that the Championship duo are keen on the Blackburn Rovers midfielder, who has netted an impressive 11 goals in 21 starts to fire the Lancashire club into the automatic promotion places in League One.
But Leeds and Villa are not the only second tier sides keen on Dack. The report adds that Cardiff City have seen a £4 million bid rejected by Blackburn for a player who cost just £750,000 when he moved to Ewood Park from Gillingham in the summer.
Such a fee could immediately rule out an Aston Villa side restricted to loans and cut-price deals this month thanks to Financial Fair Play. Unless, of course, they manage to sell a few fringe players or cash in on a key man.
Leeds, meanwhile, will be relying on owner Andrea Radrizzani to put his money where his mouth is. The Whites have been little reluctant to pay big money since the Italian took over, the Yorkshire Evening Post stating that they snubbed Chris Martin and decided against Jordan Hugill because the deals would have been too costly.
And it seems that Leeds would have to pay around £5 million to bring Dack to Elland Road, with Blackburn obviously wanting more than the £4 million put on the table by Cardiff.
The 24-year-old would add extra firepower to Thomas Christiansen’s side and could also take the pressure off some of the club’s misfiring strikers.
But for Dack to move to Leeds this month, Radrizzani would have to make the Blackburn ace comfortably the most expensive signing of his tenure. Considering how the transfer market has gone so far, however, this seems unlikely.