Fleetwood Town have upped the stakes in their pursuit of central defender Ryan Cresswell.
The Gazette understands Fleetwood have made a second offer for the in-demand Southend United star - upping their bid to £100,000.
Fleetwood’s first bid for the 25-year-old, who featured in the PFA’s League Two team of the season, was knocked back by the Essex club because the £50,000 offered by Town was well below their valuation.
Manager Phil Brown said then it would take a “significantly improved” offer to tempt him to sell the defender, who has a year left on his contract at Roots Hall.
The Shrimpers are in a less precarious financial position than they were two weeks ago, when Fleetwood first weighed up a move for Cresswell - the club having settled an unpaid tax bill with HMRC, lifting the threat of a winding up order.
And Town could yet be forced into a bidding war for the former Rotherham United man, rivals Chesterfield also interested in his services, although the Spireites are yet to make an official approach.
Whether the new six figure sum, double Fleetwood’s previous offer, will tempt Southend to part company with their star man will defend on the club’s valuation of Cresswell, with the Essex club thought to have a price tag of up to £250,000 in mind.
Cresswell is understood to have held talks with Brown last week - the defender, who joined Southend last summer, believed to be keen on a move back north.
Graham Alexander has made it clear his summer transfer business is still not complete, centre half one of the key positions he is yet to fill. The Fleetwood boss indicated last week it was likely his new look Fleetwood squad would not be complete when the players returned for training in the last week of June.