CHESTER City are preparing a shock swoop for Wrexham's Trinidad internationals Dennis Lawrence and Hector Sam.

City are confident they will succeed in prising the pair away from the Racecourse and are hopeful a deal could be sealed by the end of the week.

Wrexham manager Denis Smith, however, would be loath to lose Lawrence and Sam from his small playing squad, despite the crisis-hit club's debts of more than £2.5m.

City boss Ian Rush sees Lawrence as a replacement for Danny Collins, who joined Championship side Sunderland last month, while he wants to sign Sam to bolster his depleted strikeforce.

City chairman Stephen Vaughan last night confirmed: "Ian Rush sees the pair as players who will improve our squad and I will be approaching the Wrexham chairman in the next day or so."

Wrexham boss Smith made light of the situation, saying: "If Chester want to give us £1m we might be interested."

But he added: "These are the sort of stories which are bound to start coming out because of the situation in which Wrexham find themselves at the moment, and I'll wait to see what happens. I've had no offer for any of my players."

Since club owner Alex Hamilton resigned from the Racecourse board of directors last month, day-to-day control of Wrexham's affairs has been in the hands of the two remaining directors, David Griffiths and Dave Bennett.

Last night Griffiths said neither of them had heard from the Chester chairman. He said: "Following Mr Hamilton's resignation any approach from Chester City for any Wrexham players would have to come through either myself or Dave Bennett."

Giant defender Lawrence, 30, joined Wrexham from Defence Force in 2001 and has been a key member of Smith's side.

Sam, 26, scored Wrexham's goal in Saturday's 5-1 League One defeat at Luton, but he has struggled to hold down a regular starting place in Smith's side.

However Rush, whose leading scorer Michael Branch is sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle injury, is keen to add Sam's pace to his frontline.