HULL City are plotting a raid on Doncaster Rovers for long-serving winger James Coppinger.
The Tigers have sounded out boss Dean Saunders several times this summer about the 31-year-old’s availability - and could be set to firm up their interest with a formal offer.
As one of the club’s last remaining high earners, Rovers will find it difficult to turn down any sort of serious offer for the former Newcastle United and Exeter City forward.
Coppinger, who is due a testimonial when his current contract expires in 2014, will be torn between remaining loyal to a club he cares deeply about and ending his career at the highest possible level - should Hull City offer him a move to the KC Stadium.
But Rovers will not stand in Coppinger’s way should he wish to move on.
Dean Saunders told the Free Press: “I’m aware that there’s a bit of interest from Hull in Copps but until Steve Bruce - or any other manager for that matter - makes a bid there’s no more to say.
“We might get a call this week with a bid. We might not.
“There’s a chance we’ll lose Copps,” he added.
“Obviously it’s not an ideal situation coming so close to the start of the season, but that’s the situation.
“I would’ve liked to have kept all the players [that have left] here this summer,” he added.
“But unfortunately the club just cannot afford to do that - and I knew that would be the case when I first came here.”
Ipswich Town failed with a bid for Coppinger last summer as part of £2.6m double raid for him and Billy Sharp.
Speaking at the end of last season, Coppinger said: “I want to be playing at the highest level I can and it is difficult for Doncaster.
“Now they have been relegated, everything changes and the budgets will get slashed.
“We will have to wait and see. I don’t think it will be solely in my hands.”