Several Premier League clubs are preparing to test Leeds United's resolve to retain Robert Snodgrass in the January transfer window, with Everton leading the group of interested parties having stated their intention to bid for the young Scotland international in the new year.
Fulham, who have been in a process of renewing their squad since Martin Jol took over as manager in the summer, are also expected to make an offer.
Capable of playing on either wing or centrally, Snodgrass has established himself as Leeds' primary creative force since joining from Livingston in 2008.
A regular goalscorer in his own right, ahead of yesterday's round of Championship fixtures the 24 year old had already netted seven times this season in 19 league appearances.
He was capped by Scotland manager Craig Levein for the first time in February and scored in a friendly defeat of Denmark in August.
Leeds rejected two offers from Norwich City for Snodgrass earlier this year, yet they have failed to extend a contract which is now well into its penultimate season.
The club's conservatism over improving players' terms is such that Leeds captain Jonathan Howson has been left in a similarly vulnerable position with six months left on his present deal.
While David Moyes was forced to operate with a negative transfer budget in the close season, the £10 million (Dh57.5m) deadline-day transfer of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal delivered funds that the Everton manager has been promised partial use of in January.
A wide midfielder and striker are the Scot's priorities.
"We are talking," said chairman Bill Kenwright recently.
"There will be not a lot of money in terms of what other clubs are spending on centre-forwards but there will be money. There will be investment in January."