St Etienne are making a concerted effort to capture Sochaux striker Ilan from under the noses of Bordeaux.
The Brazilian striker has signalled his intention to leave Stade Bonal and Bordeaux looked to be front-runners in the race for his signature.
However Les Verts' chairman Bernard Caiazzo is a keen admirer of Ilan and is reportedly ready to table a lucrative contract to bring him to Stade Geoffrey-Guichard.
Paris Saint Germain and Monaco have both shown their interest, but Ilan has now talked with St Etienne officials and they appear to be favourites.
Sochaux are already casting around for a replacement and have Heerenveen's Lasse Nilsson in their sights, with the former Swedish Under-21 international making a name for himself in Holland.
Meanwhile St Etienne are also still hoping to sign Peguy Luyindula from Marseille but are growing frustrated with the player's reluctance to decide on his future as the forward claims l'OM are trying to force him out of Stade Velodrome.
Les Verts are hoping to make a big impression in the top half of the Ligue 1 table next season, and have also handed a trial to Colon's Argentinian defender Fernando Crosa.