His rise since a forgettable spell at Carlisle United has been highly impressive.

And now former Blues striker Cole Stockton looks set to be at the centre of a transfer tug of war before the deadline.

The Morecambe marksman has been linked with rival League One clubs.

A six-figure move has been mooted, with both Port Vale and Fleetwood Town reportedly keen on the 28-year-old.

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Morecambe have made Stockton a new contract offer which manager Derek Adams says will make him the club's highest-paid player.

Adams also says the club have rebuffed some "derisory" bids for the star striker.

But latest reports suggest Fleetwood, managed by former Celtic favourite Scott Brown, have upped their offer for Stockton.

The forward is in the last 12 months of his current deal and, reports The Sun's Alan Nixon, Fleetwood have increased their bid having had an initial £100,000 offer rejected.

Adams, speaking in the Lancaster Guardian, said of Stockton: “At this moment in time, we have had no bid that has been accepted. We’ve had a couple of bids that have been derisory to say the least and we won’t be allowing him to leave for that.

“The owners have a value for him, he knows that, and we’ve spoken to him. When you sign a contract you have to stay until the owners say you can go or otherwise.

“We would like him to stay. We’ve offered him a new contract, we’ve offered him to be the highest-paid player at the club.”

Stockton hit 26 goals in 50 appearances in a highly impressive 2021/22 campaign for the Shrimps, after scoring 15 in their League Two promotion season.

it is all a far cry from his disappointing time in Cumbria when, in the second half of 2017/18, Stockton - a January signing from Hearts - scored just once in 12 Carlisle appearances before leaving at the end of the season.