Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and Sunderland counterpart Steve Bruce have both confirmed their interest in Adam Johnson.
The Middlesbrough winger has caught the eye this season with 12 goals and is out of contract at the end of the season.
That has alerted a host of Premier League clubs and City are believed to have made a £5million bid for the 22-year-old.
Johnson is known to be keen on a move to Eastlands but it is understood the valuation remains a sticking point.
And although Mancini admits he is monitoring the former England U21 international, he remains guarded about the prospect of landing him before the transfer window shuts on Monday.
"He is a good, young player but we have respect for him and the club," he said. "We will see."
Sunderland are also interested in Johnson but while Bruce confirmed they have spoken to Boro, he insists they have not put an offer on the table.
"We haven't made any bid for Adam Johnson," he said.
"It's fair to say we have had discussions with Middlesbrough, but we haven't put in any formal bid."