Doncaster Rovers could renew their interest in Greenock Morton striker Jai Quitongo in January.
However, Darren Ferguson has criticised the Scottish Championship club for making Rovers’ bid for the 18-year-old public.
An English Premier League club is also understood to be keeping tabs on Quitongo.
And, with the cat now out of the bag, Ferguson fears that a few more scouts will be heading up to Morton between now and the next transfer window.
“We’ll keep an eye on him and take it from there. It’s hopefully not dead,” said Ferguson.
“If he absolutely rips it up [between now and January], then that’s the problem.
“We’ve got a scout in Scotland, which we’ve had for six months now, and the reports are very good.
“We did our homework and had him watched quite a few times and he was what I was looking for. He’s tremendously quick and can play on the shoulder. But unfortunately it wasn’t to be and we move on from it.”
Morton released a statement on Tuesday saying Rovers’ bid for Quitongo was not in line with their valuation of the player.
However, Ferguson responded: “We try to do things confidentially and that was strictly between the two clubs what went on but obviously it’s come out, which I’m not very happy about.
“The simple truth is that we bid, it got rejected, we bid again, and it got rejected.
“It wasn’t a case of what’s coming out of there about ‘we value him higher than Doncaster’.
“They gave us a figure and at that point I walked away from it because the information I was then getting was that there was an uncertainty about the boy coming to England at such a young age.
“That was basically it. We try to keep things in-house but unfortunately it’s come out from them, which I’m a tad disappointed with.
“The fact it has come out, though, shows the commitment from the owners here that they are prepared to buy younger players with potential.
“Because the boy has got potential. That’s why there was a Premiership club from England interested, but we are the ones that put the bid in, and it wasn’t a case of not meeting the valuation because we knew what it was.”
Winger-turned-striker Quitongo has scored three times for Morton this season - and always celebrates his goals with a back-flip. He came up through the ranks at Hamilton and also had a brief spell at Aberdeen.