AMBITIOUS Chester City last night made an undisclosed offer to Northampton Town for their striker Darryn Stamp.
City face competition for the player's signature from Lincoln City, but Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan is optimistic the offer will be accepted.
He said: "My manager (Mark Wright) has identified Darryn as a player who would improve our squad, so we will try to secure his signature.
"In my opinion it will basically come down to the player's aspirations. Does he want to join another third division club or will he see his future with a progressive and ambitious club in the Conference which is going places?"
Twenty-four-year-old Stamp, who was born in Yorkshire, started his career with Scunthorpe United before joining Nationwide Conference outfit Scarborough.
The player ended up as the East Coast club's leading scorer, registering 12 goals in 31 outings. During last summer he was transferred to the Cobblers for a fee of £50,000, but Northampton's current financial problems mean that the East Midlanders are actively looking to reduce their wage bill.
In another development at the Deva Stadium last night, City signed the former Hull City wing-back Jamie Heard until the end of the season.
Heard played in a number of pre-season trial games for Chester and was subsequently signed on a non-contract basis, but his excellent form in the opening three Conference matches has earned him a permanent contract.
"Jamie has done well in the couple of months he's been with us, and Mark was of the opinion that he deserved this contract," said Vaughan.
Meanwhile, Chester gave runouts to a number of first-team squad players in their reserve team last night.
Jon Brady, Steve Brodie, Jimmy Kelly, Phil Bolland and Ian McCaldon were all included in the team that played Vauxhall Motors in a Lancashire League fixture at Rivacre Park.