West Ham United have rejected an improved offer from Manchester City believed to be in the region of £9.5 million for striker Craig Bellamy.
City boss Mark Hughes' first approach for Bellamy was turned down last week but had hoped an improved offer would be successful, not least because of the financial uncertainty facing West Ham and their owner, the Icelandic financier Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.
However, despite the club's economic worries West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola is determined to retain the services of his most important squad members, which clearly includes Bellamy who scored in the club's 2-2 draw against Newcastle United on Saturday.
For Hughes West Ham's latest negative response will be a frustration as he seeks to bring a new striker to Eastlands on whom he can rely.
Hughes has worked with Bellamy previously at both Blackburn Rovers and the Wales international setup.
Hughes has also been frustrated in his attempts to sign Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz, another player he knows well from his spell in charge at Ewood Park.
Meanwhile, Luis Boa Morte's agent has claimed Hammers midfielder has not been made aware of any interest in him from Hull City.
Last week both West Ham and Hull dismissed reports they had agreed a fee for the former Arsenal, Southampton and Fulham player but Hull boss Phil Brown has since admitted he is keen on recruiting the 31-year-old.
Brown is looking to add a left-sided player, and is also keen on Wigan's Kevin Kilbane, but Boa Morte has not been informed of any approach.
Amadeu Paixao, the former Portugal international's agent, said: ''We have read in the newspapers that Hull are interested but we don't know anything about it. This club we do not know. Nobody has contacted us to allow Hull to talk to us, nothing has been said to us.''
The Hammers are thought to be keen to offload some of their fringe players to reduce both the wage bill and, for practical reasons, the size of Gianfranco Zola's squad.
Boa Morte, who moved to Upton Park in a £5million move from Fulham in summer 2007, has struggled to earn a regular starting place during his time at the club.
It remains to be seen, however, how the recent departures of Matthew Etherington and Lee Bower - to Stoke and Birmingham respectively, the latter on loan - affect his status.
Paixao added: ''He has never mentioned that he wants to leave West Ham. He has a house near the training ground, a wife and two kids. He is very happy there.''