Ross County are believed to have rejected an initial approach from Premier League rivals Aberdeen for boss Derek Adams according to media reports in Scotland.
The Dons made their first move for the highly-rated County manager earlier this week, as they look for a replacement for Craig Brown.
It is believed the Staggies have rebuffed the initial approach, but the club expects Aberdeen to make further enquiries for Adams - who played for both teams.
Brown announced last week he would be retiring at the end of the current season to take up a position on the Aberdeen board.
Adams still has a year left on his contract with Ross County and Aberdeen will have to pay substantial compensation in order to get their main target.
But Adams has impressed in his two spells at Victoria Park, broken when he left to become Colin Calderwood's assistant at Hibernian in November 2011.
The previous May he led County to the Scottish Cup final, where they lost to Dundee United, and his team could still finish second in the league this season - their first in the top flight.