Midlands rivals chase Barker

Reds and Rams keen on Tangerines centre-half

Barker: In-demand

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Nottingham Forest and Derby County are battling it out to sign Blackpool defender Shaun Barker.

The East Midlands rivals have both seen offers of around £750,000 knocked back by the Tangerines in recent weeks.

They have been informed that it will take a seven-figure approach to lure Barker away from Bloomfield Road.

Forest are keen to bolster their defensive options after releasing Ian Breckin at the end of last season, and have also identified Doncaster's Matt Mills as a top target.

Derby may hold the upper hand in any dealings with Blackpool, though, as they could be prepared to offer Liam Dickinson - who enjoyed a productive loan spell with Tangerines last season - as a makeweight in any potential agreement.

However, for now neither side is making any headway with their advances, as Blackpool boss Ian Holloway is reluctant to do business with the current terms on the table.

"Shaun has a three-year contract and he won't be going anywhere unless we want him to," said Holloway.

"He shouldn't have signed that contract if he wanted to move on. It is as simple as that."