Warwickshire look certain to miss out to Midlands rivals Nottinghamshire in the race to sign England one-day international batsman James Taylor from Leicestershire.
Taylor is seeking a move from Grace Road, even though he has a year remaining on his contract with Leicestershire, to further his international career.
Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire have both held preliminary talks with the highly-rated batsman but it seems that Nottinghamshire are the only realistic contender to meet Taylor’s salary demands and to offer Leicestershire the compensation they are seeking before allowing him to leave.
Warwickshire thought they were in a strong bargaining position when they approached Leicestershire in mid-season and suggested buying Taylor out of the final year of his contract.
But Leicestershire rejected that approach outright and Warwickshire have since suffered a major financial setback having failed to secure Tests at Edgbaston in 2013 and 2014.
Nottinghamshire’s financial position has been strengthened having secured Ashes Tests at Trent Bridge in both 2013 and 2015 and they are now hot favourites to land Taylor though they have yet to offer Leicestershire a satisfactory settlement.
Meanwhile Warwickshire are close to re-signing New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel as their overseas player for the whole of next season.
Patel, who first played for Warwickshire in 2009, returned to Edgbaston as a Twenty20 specialist in June but was also pressed into service in the County Championship when visa complications delayed the arrival of Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Patel featured prominently in the back-to-back wins over Sussex and has now been offered a contract for a full season.
Warwickshire had explored the possibility of Chanderpaul rejoining them as a Kolpak player next season if he lost his place in the West Indies squad. But the left-hander’s central contract has been extended and he made a century against India over the weekend.
Warwickshire have not ruled out the possibility of Chanderpaul returning to Edgbaston for part of next season and sharing the overseas player’s duties with Patel.