INTEREST in Chester City's popular striker Daryl Clare intensified last night with Carlisle United increasing their offer for the player and his former club Boston United making inquiries about the 26-year-old.
Carlisle, who currently lie in second place in the Nationwide Conference and are financed by millionaire stockbroker Brooks Mileson, made an initial approach for Clare last weekend, but last night upped their bid.
"We have received another communication from Carlisle, this time increasing their bid, and I have just had a phone call from Jon Sotnick the Boston United chairman inquiring about Daryl's availability," said City chairman Stephen Vaughan last night.
Vaughan continued: "Ian (Rush) doesn't want Daryl to leave Chester City, and we are formulating a package which we hope will entice the player to sign a new deal with us.
"Basically now, the decision as to his future lies with the player."
Clare, who is out of contract at the end of the season, signed for Chester City from Boston United in November 2002, for a club record fee of £95,000.
Meanwhile, Chester have received a mixed response from cash strapped Wrexham in their attempts to sign Dennis Lawrence, Hector Sam and Stephen Roberts.
"Wrexham have verbally informed us that Lawrence isn't for sale, but we have had more encouraging news regarding the other two players, we were told to put our bids for Sam and Roberts in writing and they will be considered," said Vaughan.
"A fax has been sent over to Wrexham with what we consider to be a fair offer for the players. Hopefully we will get a positive response to our bids in the next few days.
"Ian Rush considers that both players would improve our squad, and hopefully they will see their futures with us."
Meanwhile City have announced that they have a few tickets left from their allocation for Saturday's FA Cup first round tie at non-league Stafford Rangers.
The remaining tickets are available on a first come, first served basis, from the Chester ticket office this morning.