Everton have turned down a £10m offer from Arsenal for England defender Phil Jagielka.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger moved for Jagielka, 28, in his search for the commanding central defensive figure that has been a priority this summer.
But he will need to come back with an offer closer to £20m for the Goodison Park club to even consider a deal.
Everton's refusal was hardened by the fact that they rejected a £12m Arsenal bid for Jagielka last summer.
Wenger is a long-term admirer of Jagielka, who has been an outstanding performer at Everton since a £4m move from Sheffield United in July 2007.
As well as insisting he is not for sale, Everton still believe he is worth around double Arsenal's latest offer.
Toffees manager David Moyes has to sell to buy once more this summer and is in no mood to part with any of his current squad.
But there is an acceptance at Goodison Park that only a high-profile sale will provide Moyes with any cash to spend.
Jagielka signed a new four-year contract with Everton in March and has been earmarked as the natural successor to Phil Neville as club captain.
He was named Everton's player of the year in the 2008/09 season, despite suffering a serious knee injury in the second half of that campaign which forced him to miss the FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea.
Wenger must now decide whether to increase his offer for Jagielka or look elsewhere.
Arsenal have been strongly linked with a £17m bid for Bolton's Gary Cahill, 25, and, with the season approaching, the urgency is growing for Wenger to add to his defensive resources.
Blackburn's Chris Samba and Birmingham City's Scott Dann have also been touted as possible recruits for the Gunners.