Barnsley have had a £250,000 bid rejected by Southend for winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce.
Campbell-Ryce has been strongly linked with a move back to the Championship this summer following The Shrimpers' relegation.
Leicester and Coventry are also believed to be suitors of the 24-year-old, but Barnsley boss Simon Davey has made the first move.
Southend manager Steve Tilson wants to hang onto Campbell-Ryce after seeing star striker Freddy Eastwood join Wolves this summer.
Campbell-Ryce is currently sidelined by a stomach injury but Tilson has confirmed the problem is not serious.
The former Rotherham man is expected to be fit for the League One opener against Leyton Orient on 11th August.
"We sent Jamal to have a scan on his stomach and everything came back clear, which is obviously really good news," Tilson told the club's official website.
"Jamal should be fit for the game with Leyton Orient."