Geraint Williams has confirmed Colchester United have made an offer for Hogan Ephraim.
The West Ham United winger made 21 appearances while on loan at Colchester last term and is out of contract at the end of the season.
He has already been out on loan at Queens Park Rangers this season, but could be set for a January return to Layer Road.
Ephraim has been rated in the £500,000 bracket, and while admitting an offer has been lodged, U's boss Williams revealed there is competition for the youngster.
"There has been a bid, that is true," said Williams. "Hogan is a player we have had here before and if West Ham are interested in selling then we are interested in buying.
"We have spoken to him, but there are also another couple of clubs interested, so it is down to Hogan where his future lies.
"If a player will improve the club - and Hogan will do that - then it will take a lot of money, but we are prepared to do that. We'll have to wait and see how it develops."