ASTON Villa must increase the up-front fee for Morgan Rogers if the Premier League side are to be successful in landing the Middlesbrough forward ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline.
While reports claimed Villa's latest bid was potentially worth £15m, the figure offered up-front was just £7.5m with the rest made up of add-ons.
Villa must increase that figure to north of £10m if they're to land a player Unai Emery is said to have identified as his top target this month.
Boro have made it clear they won't stand in Rogers' way but they'll only sanction a move if Villa meet their asking price, which they've made known.
Boro signed Rogers for between £1m and £1.5m in the summer but Manchester City inserted what has been described as a hefty sell-on clause. Boro are in a position of strength, with three-and-a-half years still to run on Rogers' contract on Teesside.
Villa are likely to return with a fourth bid but the clock is ticking, with the transfer deadline now just three days away.
With Villa working to ensure they don't fall foul of the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules, Emery confirmed earlier this month that signings will only be possible if exits are sanctioned.
Quizzed on Rogers on Monday, Emery said: “The club is working hard so some players can leave, then if we can we can add potentially.”
Finn Azaz joined Boro early in the window and Leander Dendoncker left for Napoli at the end of last week, but Emery has today insisted Villa won't be selling Jacob Ramsey this month.
Ramsey has been linked with Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Newcastle in recent days, though Eddie Howe dismissed that speculation as "incorrect" on Monday morning.
Emery said: "Jacob Ramsey is a very important player. He grew up in the academy and his progression is getting better.
"His level is increasing a lot and I want to keep him here with us. Of course, there are movements (speculation) around him.
"Maybe there are teams involved in the possibility to sign him because he has a big, big potential at Villa and in England. I want to keep him here, 100%."