Leicestershire have resisted Warwickshire’s first approach for England Lions batsman James Taylor.
Taylor still has a year remaining on his contract at Grace Road but Warwickshire have written to Leicestershire making a formal approach for the precociously talented 21-year-old.
It is understood that Warwickshire have offered to pay up the remainder of Taylor’s contract by way of compensation and also offered a player in part-exchange to soften the blow.
But Leicestershire’s board have discussed Warwickshire’s approach and told their Midlands rivals that instead of letting Taylor go they intend to start talks to offer him an extension to his existing deal.
“We wouldn’t welcome any interest from other clubs in James whatever they have to offer. He is a contracted Leicestershire player and if anything we would like to extend his contract,” said Leicestershire chief executive Mike Siddall.
Yet this is unlikely to be the end of the matter. Though Taylor is a product of Leicestershire’s successful youth system, he has already had a spell away from Grace Road when he joined Worcestershire’s academy while he was a pupil at Shrewsbury School.
He has played for England Under-19s and England Lions while with Leicestershire but may take some persuading that he will be able to enjoy a lengthy senior international career if he remains with them.
At the moment Leicestershire are languishing at the foot of the County Championship second division and their highly-regarded batting star may take some convincing that the club’s ambitions match his own.
Warwickshire and a queue of other counties, including Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, are likely to monitor Leicestershire’s attempts to persuade Taylor to commit to an extended contract with great interest.