Derbyshire have made an audacious bid to sign former England one-day international captain Paul Collingwood from Durham, BBC Newcastle understands.
Durham have said they want the 35-year-old, who has a year to run on his contract, to stay at the Riverside.
And Collingwood's agent Neil Fairbrother has hinted that the player is likely to be reluctant to leave.
But Durham will allow the all-rounder, who led England to the World Twenty20 title in 2010, to talk to Derbyshire.
Championship Division Two strugglers Derbyshire, who tabled a 28-day notice period to speak to Collingwood, have been promising a landmark signing under new chairman Chris Grant.
Collingwood retired from Tests after England's Ashes success in January, remaining available for limited-overs games, but was dropped during the World Cup and has not played for England since March.
He also recently lost the England Twenty20 captaincy to Stuart Broad.