Reports suggest that Sunderland are close to reaching an agreement with Bury for the signing of James Vaughan but have recently had their opening bid of £900,000 rejected.
Sky Sports, the Sun and The Bury Times have all reported that the Black Cats have made an official bid for the English striker, as Simon Grayson looks to bolster his squad ahead of next season.
Vaughan has regained his goalscoring touch
Vaughan, who scored 24 goals in 37 games for Bury last season in League One, is thought to be valued a lot more highly by the club, who are not willing to allow the striker to leave on the cheap.
The 28-year-old's career has been seriously hindered by a number of injury issues in the past, but now he has proved his fitness over a full season with the Shakers, a number of Championship clubs are set to make a move.
Bury are the eighth different club that Vaughan has played for in his career. He has also featured for Everton, Derby County, Leicester City, Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City. Many will remember Vaughan for holding the record for the youngest ever goalscorer in the Premier League, from his time at Goodison Park.
Vaughan has never been that prolific throughout his career, with his previous best tally coming for Huddersfield in the 2012/13 season as he netted 14 goals in 37 games for the Terriers. However, his form is inconsistent as he then joined Birmingham and failed to score in 17 games.
Bury's star man won't come cheap
It is expected that the newly relegated club will eventually agree a deal with the League One side for the striker. However, one thing for sure is that Grayson will not be able to secure his services on the cheap, as Bury are set to hold out for as high a fee as they possibly can.
Bury have already rejected three bids for Vaughan from Championship clubs and are unwilling to sell unless their valuation of the player is met, which is unknown. Sunderland will have to come back in with an improved offer if they want to land their man.
Shakers boss Lee Clark is desperate to hang-on to his main striker this summer after his goals helped the club secure safety and avoid a drop into League Two last season. He told the Bury Times: "Another bid from a Championship club has been turned down since we came away [to a training camp in Marbella]. It did not meet the valuation we have for James."
He added: "We don't want to sell him and no matter what, we won't be selling him to another League One club."
Clark has admitted that it may be difficult to stand in Vaughan's way if a club from a higher division comes in for him, but insists the deal must be right for the club. He said: "If James wants to go to a club that is in a higher division, then that's up to James, but his valuation must be met. We made that perfectly clear to James, he has given us his feedback and there are no issues."