Birmingham City have rejected an £8m bid from Southampton for star striker Che Adams, according to the Daily Mail.
Adams - who was one of the Championship's standout performers last term after scoring 22 goals and registering five assists for the Blues - is reportedly being tracked by a number of top flight clubs this summer, including Saints, Burnley and Newcastle United.
Ralph Hasenhuttl saw a bid for the Leicester-born front man turned down in January because of an EFL transfer embargo placed on Birmingham, which saw the West Midlands outfit handed a nine point deduction for breaching profitability and sustainability rules.
The Blues dropped to within touching distance of the relegation zone because of the deduction, so couldn't afford to let their main supply of goals leave the club with still a considerable period of the campaign remaining.
It is understood that Birmingham are holding out for at least £15m for Adams, who turns 23 next month. The England U20 international has longevity on his side so would be an investment for any club acquiring his services ahead of next season and Birmingham feel as though the investment is worth much more than the tabled £8m.
Burnley were also interested in signing Adams in January, and it is expected that the Clarets will submit another offer in the coming weeks to bolster their attacking options for next season, after Matej Vydra failed to make an impact at Turf Moor following his move from Derby last summer.
Newly promoted Norwich City have also signalled interest in the young forward, while Newcastle United are long-standing admirers of the 22-year-old. The Magpies made regular checks on Adams when he was playing in non-league for Ilkeston Town and are beginning to look at alternatives for last season's 11-goal striker Salomon Rondon, with increasing rumours that the Venezuelan will be tempted by a move away from St James' Park amidst reported interest from both West Ham United and Wolves.
Southampton remain front-runners to obtain Adams' signature however, with Hasenhuttl desperate to bolster his front line over the summer. Danny Ings struggled to remain consistently fit last season, while 18-year-old Michael Obafemi also missed the second half of the campaign with a hamstring injury, so the acquisition of a new striker during this window seems a necessity for the southerners.
One player heading in the opposite direction, though, is thought to be Charlie Austin, who has become surplus to requirements at St Mary's since Hasenhuttl's arrival in December. Austin was restricted to just 12 starts last term and only managed two league goals - could a swap deal for Adams (plus cash) potentially be on the cards?