Charlie Wyke's future is today in the balance with Bradford City now hoping to push through a deal for Carlisle United's leading scorer.

The League One club made their move for Wyke last night as they tabled an offer to Brunton Park that is understood to have triggered a £250,000 release clause in the striker's contract.

That will give Bradford permission to speak to the 24-year-old - putting the ball firmly in Wyke's court on whether to leave the Blues.

Carlisle have yet to comment, although manager Keith Curle is today set to hold his regular pre-match press conference at midday.

United's boss will be facing up to the serious possibility of losing a player who has scored nearly half of all the team's goals since mid-November.

Former Middlesbrough player Wyke's impressive form has attracted the attention of a host of scouts recently, with Bradford dramatically stepping up their interest yesterday.

The Valley Parade club are in the market for new strikers after the sale of James Hanson to Sheffield United.

Wyke trained with the Carlisle squad yesterday with Curle, at the time, preparing for tomorrow's home clash with Barnet with the frontman still in his plans.

Bradford's move could now put his involvement against the Bees in doubt, raising the possibility that the striker could have played his last game for United.

With just four days left in the transfer window, a Wyke departure would leave Curle with the daunting task of replacing his top marksman at a key stage in Carlisle's League Two promotion push.

Bradford, whose head of recruitment is former Carlisle manager Greg Abbott, have also so far declined to comment.

United are already in need of reinforcements after the departure of a host of players from the club recently, Mark Ellis the latest.

The defender yesterday completed a loan move to National League high-fliers Forest Green Rovers until the end of the season.

Ellis, who could make his debut against Barrow tomorrow, joins David Atkinson, Russell Penn, Kevin Wright and Derek Asamoah in leaving United either on loan or permanently in the last two weeks.

Forest Green are understood to be making a substantial contribution to the centre-half's wages. Curle claimed 28-year-old Ellis had been a victim of "changes" to the United squad.

On the Blues' website Curle said: “With the changes we've made he [Ellis] knew pitch time was likely to be limited with us, so this move will take to him a club which has a heck of a lot at stake.

"They're second in their division and they're battling to get into the Football League. He will relish that challenge and I know he will give them everything, as he has with us."

Curle, who has also transfer-listed Shaun Brisley and Joe McKee, will hope to use the money recouped from Ellis' loan - as well as any proceeds from a Wyke move - to strengthen his squad.

Gary Liddle is so far the only permanent arrival at Carlisle in the transfer window, which closes at 11pm on Tuesday.

Reggie Lambe is set to return to tomorrow's squad after missing last weekend's 1-1 draw at Accrington because of international commitments. The winger captained Bermuda in their 4-2 friendly defeat against Canada.

But United's depleted squad, still missing Mike Jones and Danny Grainger, is again likely to see youth team player Cameron Salkeld involved in the matchday 18.