Hull will be forced to spend nearly all of their Shane Long windfall if they are to land Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes as his replacement.
Scotland striker Rhodes, who has scored 53 goals in 99 appearances since joining Rovers two years ago, has emerged as Steve Bruce's number one target but will not come cheap after Blackburn rejected an initial offer.
They want a profit on the £8million they paid Huddersfield and value their prize asset in the same bracket as Long, who joined Southampton in a surprise £12million deal earlier this month.
Hull's Europa League trip to Lokeren this week has complicated matters, with Bruce admitting after the match on Thursday he did not know how far advanced the discussions over Rhodes were.
Blackburn, meanwhile, have indicated that the ball is in Hull's court and await an improved offer.
Rovers, who signed Tom Cairney and Corry Evans from the Tigers last year, are understood to be interested in Bruce's son Alex as part of any deal.
Bruce would be hesitant to sanction that, with the centre-back having impressed last season and also started in the team's Barclays Premier League win over QPR on the opening weekend.
Hull favour a 3-5-2 formation, meaning Bruce senior would be loathe to lose one of his established central defenders.