Burnley and Crystal Palace have joined the race to sign highly rated young Chester FC defender Sam Hughes.
Reports at the weekend suggest that the Premier League duo are weighing up summer swoops for the 19-year-old.
The Blues rejected a 'substantial' bid from Championship outfit Barnsley for Hughes during the January transfer window.
But the academy graduate is expected to leave the club once his contract expires in the summer.
Chester have offered the in-demand Hughes a new deal and would be entitled to compensation if he decides his future lies elsewhere.
Barsnley are tipped to revive their interest in the centre-back, who has also been watched by Swansea City, Middlesbrough, Wolves, Fulham, Aston Villa and Birmingham City this season.
And the Daily Mail are reporting that Burnley, who could be set to lose new England international Michael Keane, are looking at Hughes.
ClubCall, meanwhile, are reporting that Crystal Palace sent scouts to check out the teenager in Saturday's 1-0 win at Bromley.
After the match Blues boss Jon McCarthy revealed Hughes had played through the pain barrier before eventually coming off injured in the 81st minute.
McCarthy said: "Sam Hughes played with an injury, and I know that, but he got through as far he could with it, and that shows the strength of the lad and what he thinks of this football club."
Hughes, who became the youngest captain in the club's history when he led the side out against Tranmere Rovers earlier this month, has said he will turn his attention to his own future once the campaign comes to an end.
"We'll just see what happens for me (in the summer) but I'm just grateful to be playing and the main thing is for me is that I play well each week and provide for the team and help us climb up the table," the youngster told The Chronicle last month.
"It is something that I'll look at when the time comes but there are 12 or so games left between now and the end of the season and my priority is to just stay in the team at Chester. We have a good squad and the gaffer has tough choices to make every week and I have got to remain level headed to ensure I make the team."