AFC Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite has warned potential suitors the club does not need to sell Danny Rowe after rejecting a six-figure bid.
The Gazette understands League Two side Cheltenham Town have put in several offers for Rowe this summer and initially offered £25,000 for a player who scored 28 times last season.
Haythornthwaite revealed they have since upped those bids but, on the eve of Fylde’s opening game of the season against Bromley at Mill Farm, they have rebuffed another approach.
The Gazette understands the latest figure is near the £150,000 mark – which could potentially rise to £180,000 – but Haythornthwaite believes Rowe is worth more.
Rowe signed a new two-year deal last summer with Fylde also inserting an option to extend that deal until the summer of 2020.
Given the length of that contract and Fylde’s belief that Rowe’s goals can fire them to the Football League, Haythornthwaite says they are in a strong position and want the forward to be at Mill Farm when the transfer window closes on August 9.
He said: “We have had interest from Cheltenham.
“Their first offer was disrespectful but they have upped it since.
“The last offer they made us was a six-figure sum but I have made it clear to them that we are not selling Danny Rowe for the kind of money they have offered so far.
“He is virtually irreplaceable and we do not need to sell him, we are not a selling club.
“We know Danny wants to play in the Football League and that is our ambition too.
“To get there you need your best players and we are not going to sell our best players.
“Every player has his price but at this moment in time we are not prepared to sell as they have not met our valuation of Danny and he is under contract.”
Haythornthwaite says his commitment to ensuring Rowe is the highest-paid player at the club has also seen them miss out on some targets – but that he is worth every penny.
He said: “He is the highest-paid player at the club and it was a commitment I made to him that he would always be our highest-paid player.
“Because of that we have probably had a couple of players that we have missed out on because I am not prepared to break that barrier.”