Fleetwood Town have made a ‘significant’ bid for Southend United defender Ryan Cresswell, The Gazette understands.
The club made an initial offer to the Essex club yesterday with the Rotherham-born centre half believed to be keen to make the move back north.
But Town could face tough competition for the services of the 25-year-old, who was named in last season’s PFA League Two team of the year.
Rivals Chesterfield, managed by Paul Cook, are one of two other clubs hoping to tempt the defender away from Roots Hall.
Fleetwood Boss Graham Alexander made it clear last week his priority is now to bring in reinforcements at centre half, with Alan Goodall, Nathan Pond and Liam Hogan his only current options.
Rob Atkinson was released by the club earlier this month while experienced defender Youl Mawene has called time on his playing career, taking up a fitness coaching role at Highbury.
Alexander told The Gazette he was looking for an “experienced” and “commanding” centre half to bolster his options at the back.
Cresswell would certainly fit that bill.
Fleetwood were reported to have made an initial bid of £50,000 earlier in the week.
Southend boss Phil Brown confirmed a bid had been received, adding it fell short of the club’s valuation.
He said: “It would have to take a considerably improved offer to get Ryan Cresswell to leave the club on our terms.”
Former Rotherham United and Bury player Cresswell signed for the Shrimpers on a free transfer in July last year and has one year left on his contract.
With United fending off a winding up order from HMRC over an unpaid tax bill, Town will have been hoping to bag themselves a bargain.
But Southend have now got their affairs in order are believed to want up to £250,000 for their star man.
The 6ft 2in defender made 54 appearances for the Johnston’s Paints Trophy finalists last season, scoring six league goals.