BURY have rejected a second “embarrassing” bid from Sheffield United for star striker Leon Clarke, according to boss David Flitcroft.

The new offer was an improvement on the initial five-figure sum offered last week, but the Shakers boss has confirmed the club have once again rejected the bid.

Clarke scored 18 goals for Bury last season and has attracted interest from the Blades and former side Coventry City over the summer.

But Flitcroft is starting to grow tired with the drawn out negotiations.

“They have come in with an improved offer,” Flitcroft revealed. “The first one was comical, the second one was embarrassing.

“I don't know where it's at now. We have got a game that we want to win in two weeks time in League One so I'm focusing on that.

“I think it has become a bit of a circus and if I wanted to go to a circus then I'd go to Blackpool, which we are going there next week anyway!

“This situation could end up becoming a circus and I certainly don't want to become part of that."

Clarke was absent from Bury's 1-1 draw at Southend on Saturday.

Hallam Hope put the Shakers ahead midway inside the second half, but after withstanding heavy Bury pressure the hosts equalised through Ben Jago.

After the match Flitcroft revealed the reasons for omitting his star striker.

He said: “His head probably wasn't focused on this game. I am very passionate about winning football matches and very passionate about the football club and I wanted to come here and represent ourselves and win and I made that quite clear to the squad.

“Leon just needs a weekend to refocus and think and certainly the Sheffield United one has turned his head, there is no doubt about that.

“I think people are playing games behind the scenes at Sheffield United which is very amateurish and very unprofessional.

“It's something that does go on in football but if I’m being really honest I think there's a professional etiquette that all managers should keep and all assistant managers should keep.”