The Everton manager, David Moyes, aims to outbid Birmingham City in signing the Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Dunn with a £5m offer.
Moyes, who has decided to spend most of his transfer budget on the former England Under-21 captain, has made contact with Rovers. Everton's offer could prove more attractive than Birmingham's, which was made up of a £3m down payment and two instalments of £1.25m per year.
The Goodison bid is about £4m in guaranteed money plus extras, taking it up to £5m, so giving the Blackburn manager Graeme Souness more funds to play with for his own signings. Everton may also offer better money to Dunn than Birmingham.
Blackburn will make a decision on which offer to accept within the next few days, with Dunn possibly speaking to his next club by the end of the week. The Everton move came after Birmingham's original bid was turned down.
Coventry City are poised to sign the Arsenal striker Graham Barrett, beating off competition from their First Division rivals Preston North End. The Republic of Ireland prospect is likely to join the Sky Blues on a two-year deal after learning that he had no future at Highbury.
Barrett, 22, has been on loan at Bristol Rovers, Crewe Alexandra, Colchester United and Brighton in recent seasons, and has made just a handful of appearances for the Gunners.