Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell has admitted he will table an improved bid for Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp in January.
Rovers chairman John Ryan rejected a £2.6million bid from their Championship rivals for Sharp and team-mate James Coppinger in the summer.
But Jewell claims a clause in the 25-year-old's contract means Rovers will have to accept a higher offer for their prized asset in the New Year.
He revealed he has already spoken to owner Marcus Evans about making another offer for the player, who Jewell believes was interested in a summer switch to Portman Road.
Sharp, who bravely returned to action for Rovers just days after the death of his baby son, was paid a touching tribute by the Ipswich crowd in their side's 3-2 defeat by Doncaster on Saturday.
Jewell said: "Doncaster will have to accept an offer (in January) because Billy Sharp has got a clause in his contract.
"If a club meets that valuation, they have to give him permission to speak.
"We'd like to have him here. There's no hiding from the fact we tried to get him in the summer because he's a quality Championship player - he might even be Premier League standard."
But Ipswich are likely to face stiff competition from Championship leaders Southampton for Sharp's signature.
It is thought Saints boss Nigel Adkins, who managed the striker during his successful spell at Scunthorpe, will also renew his interest.
Jewell added: "I know Billy was interested in coming here in the summer though so we'll see what happens."