BLACKPOOL have made bids for five players, including an increased offer for Dundee United's Garry Kenneth, ahead of Monday's transfer deadline.
But Ian Holloway has been knocked back in the chase for Celtic midfielder Paddy McCourt and told by Arsenal that Jay Thomas can't come back on loan.
The Pool boss is also pursuing Motherwell centre-half Steve Saunders and Swansea striker Stephen Dobbie.
But his chief target is Scottish centre-back Kenneth.
Holloway rates the 22-year-old highly but had this month's initial bid – described as "ridiculously small" by Dundee United – rejected.
Holloway hopes for more joy with a vastly improved offer.
The Gazette understands that Pool have offered 200,000 up front but the fee could rise to 500,000 with add-ons.
Kenneth will have watched the progress of Charlie Adam, who left Scotland to try his luck in the Championship and has been a huge success.
Asked if he was confident of landing his targets, Holloway said: "You can never be confident in today's market and I'm horrified by how much everybody is asking for.
"Everybody seems to be starting at 500,000 now and I feel like I'm on Bargain Hunt. I am bartering for players but I'm just getting custard-pied!
"We've got five deals on the go and am I anticipating getting all of them? I don't know.
"It is a big ask by Monday. If I get two I'll be lucky. If I get three I'll be delighted.
"If I don't get any there is always the loan market, which is open a week after the deadline and we are already looking at it."
FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE FRIDAY'S GAZETTE.