CHESTER City will complete the formalities of Paul Linwood's transfer from Tranmere over the weekend, with a fee looking likely to be settled by a tribunal.
The 22-year-old Birkenhead-born player refused terms from the Prenton Park club last month, but because he is under 24 and the clubs appear intransigent in their respective positions the matter looks to be heading to arbitration.
City chairman Stephen Vaughan said last night: "We have acted honourably and with dignity in this matter. We obtained permission to talk to the player's representatives and we were led to believe that our financial offer was acceptable.
"The player accepted our package which was financially higher and covered a longer contractual period than Tranmere's offer. Unfortunately the revised valuation we have subsequently received from Tranmere is way above ours."
Vaughan continued: "We will not discuss this matter publicly again nor get into a media debate. We are above that. If others wish to bandy words publicly that's up to them. We will substantiate our position if and when a tribunal is convened."
Meanwhile, Chester are close to finalising the transfer of defender Ashley Westwood from Northampton Town, who has agreed a two year deal at the Deva Stadium.
The 29-year-old former England youth international started his career with Manchester United, before joining Crewe Alexandra who paid £40,000 for his services.
After more than 100 appearances at Gresty Road, he moved to Bradford City for £150,000 during the period when the Yorkshiremen were in the Premier League.
Following his time at Valley Parade, spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Northampton followed, in a career which has so far seen the Shropshire-born player make over 250 league appearances.
Chester are still hopeful that the Doncaster Rovers midfield player will accept personal terms, when negotiations continue next week.