Everton have stepped into the battle to sign West Ham's Steve Lomas and have had a bid for the Irish midfielder accepted by the Hammers.
It is a last-ditch attempt to grab Lomas from under the noses of Manchester City, who have been negotiating all week to re-sign their former player.
An Everton spokesman confirmed: "We have had a bid for Lomas accepted, and been given permission to speak to the player."
City, who have also bid £100,000 for Stockport keeper Carlo Nash, responded through spokesman Chris Bird.
He said: "We thought we had agreed a fee with West Ham yesterday, but we have as yet had no official word from them."
City have been chasing Lomas for a fortnight, and it was believed their £3.5m bid had been accepted by West Ham, whose manager Harry Redknapp earlier described the offer as "very reasonable".
But Everton have jumped back into the race, having previously suggested that they would be pulling out because the fee was too high.
Now it seems that West Ham have accepted both bids and will let the player decide his future club after talking to both north west sides.
City's desire to acquire cover for number one keeper Nicky Weaver has prompted the move for Nash, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
England youth keeper Stephen Hodgson has been allowed to join Irish club Cliftonville for a three-month loan spell.