SPECULATION is growing that last season's top scorer Daryl Clare could be on the move.
His former club Boston United have admitted they have inquired about the striker, whose 29 goals helped City top the Conference.
But Chester manager Mark Wright was reluctant yesterday to talk about the Irishman's future. 'The chairman and I will be having a chat with Daryl to see what's happening,' he said.
Clare is having a house built in the Grimsby area which is a fair indication he sees his future east of the Pennines, but that doesn't necessarily mean his departure from the Deva Stadium is imminent.
He didn't figure in Chester's pre-season friendlies against Walsall and Cardiff City as he rested a hip injury, but he was pencilled in for last night's game at Colwyn Bay and could play against Queen of the South at the Deva Stadium tomorrow.
There has been no getting away from Clare this week. As well as the doubts about his future, there was controversy when Boston claimed Chester still owed them part of the transfer fee for the striker, but on Wednesday it was agreed by both clubs that the deal had been settled.
City have brought in Michael Branch from Bradford City and have former Manchester City striker Mike Sheron on trial, which could make it easier to let Clare go.
Branch scored twice in City's 3-0 defeat of Walsall last Saturday and he was on the mark again on Tuesday in a 2-0 win over Cardiff City after Sheron had put them in front.
Wright has been pleased with performances so far and while, on paper, Queen of the South are weaker than Walsall and Cardiff, the City boss isn't taking the game lightly.
'They are a side to be respected and we want to step up from what we have achieved already,' he said. 'We have been first-class so far.
'We will be mixing the team up again on Saturday, but some will be playing 90 minutes.'
Wright tempered his delight with the performances with caution. 'You can't read too much into friendlies,' he said. 'We have no points, but there were a lot of good things happening.
'To see players like this playing for Chester City shows how far we have come. We have worked exceptionally hard to get players here and now have great competition for places.
'I think the performances of Andy Harris are worth mentioning. I have been very pleased with him. He has done exceptionally well.'
Paul Carden, who had a close-season knee operation, could play against Queen of the South, but Darryn Stamp looks certain to miss out with an achilles tendon injury and newcomer Andy Watson is due to have exploratory surgery on a knee problem today.
On Tuesday, Chester send a team to West Cheshire League club Heswall, while Thursday's planned game at Connah's Quay is now off.
Chester are in court on Monday to face a winding-up order sought by Customs and Excise over alleged unpaid VAT.
Former Chester commercial director Bill Wingrove is leaving Wrexham, where he was club secretary, to become Shrewsbury Town's chief executive officer.