Bovis Homes has held talks with the boss of construction firm Wates Group in an attempt to snap him up as the firm's next chief executive, according to reports.
The board of the housebuilder identified Andrew Davies as the person to succeed David Ritchie, who exited the firm in January after a profit warning, Sky News reported.
Insiders said discussions had started several weeks ago but it was unclear whether they remained ongoing.
One source said the hunt for a new leader was "accelerating" with Davies one of several external candidates approached.
The news comes as two of Bovis' rivals consider whether to launch new attempts to takeover for the company.
Earlier this month Bovis confirmed it had rejected approaches from both Redrow and Galliford Try. But the housebuilder said that while it was no longer in talks with Redrow, conversations with Galliford were ongoing.
The approach taken by Bovis prompted one of the firm's institutional shareholders to urge it to bin a merger with Galliford and explore a tie-up with Redrow.
“It would be potentially neater to do it with Redrow because it’s a pure housebuilder,” said Royal London Asset Management's Richard Marwood.