Derby have confirmed an interest in Gary Hooper, but fear they may be priced out of a bid for the Scunthorpe striker.
Hooper took his tally for the season to 18 by scoring in Tuesday's 2-2 home draw against Reading, with Clough in attendance at Glanford Park.
Several clubs in the Premier League and Championship have been linked with summer bids for Hooper, who has a year remaining on his Scunthorpe contract.
Rams boss Nigel Clough is not surprised by the level of interest in the 22-year-old forward and believes the success of any bid could depend on Hooper's price tag.
"That is not a surprise, especially when he scores a hat-trick two weeks before the end of the season like he did against Bristol City at the weekend," Clough told the Derby Telegraph.
"He is a player who has done well against us.
"It might be that we get priced out of it, I don't know, but if he is one we identify as a definite target than we would hope to be in there bidding.
"If Premiership clubs come in, there is no competition really, but if it is clubs from the Championship I would hope that if we decide to go for him we would be in with a chance."