Huddersfield Town are close to making Southend United midfielder Jack Payne their sixth summer signing.
But supporters hoping to see either Sporting Lisbon’s Scottish midfielder Ryan Gauld or German striker Simon Terodde at the John Smith’s Stadium next season look set for disappointment.
Town made a bold bid to bring in 20-year-old Dundee United product Gauld on loan in January.
But the Portuguese giants, who paid £3m for the Scotland Under 21 international two years ago but have fielded him infrequently at first-team level, pulled the plug on the proposed deal.
With more rivals for his services should Sporting decide to loan or sell a player who is contracted to 2020 and who is expected to start pre-season in Lisbon, sources suggest Town have switched their focus elsewhere.
Prolific scorer Terodde is well known to Town’s German head coach David Wagner , a big admirer.
Currently at VfL Bochum, of his country’s equivalent to the Championship, the 28-year-old has also played for Duisburg, Koln and Union Berlin.
Town are interested in Terodde, who Bochum say could yet extend a contract which ends next summer.
But there is no shortage of other suitors, with Stuttgart the favourites to strike a deal should the player push for a transfer.
Payne, however, is expected to join Town, who are negotiating with Southend in a bid to avoid going to tribunal over the level of the compensation the League I club are due because he is under 24 and has been offered a new contract.
The 21-year-old Londoner who came through the Essex club’s youth system top-scored for them with nine goals last season.
Town have already brought in Wolves winger Rajiv van La Parra, Croatian midfielder Ivan Paurevic, German defenders Michael Hefele and Chris Lowe and Oldham keeper Joel Coleman.
Former Middlesbrough keeper Luke Coddington has been added to the development squad.