make a play for somebody/something
make a play for
Try to attract someone's interest, especially romantic interest. For example, Bill has been making a play for Anne, but so far it hasn't gotten him anywhere. [Slang; c. 1900]
make a play for something
If someone makes a play for something that they want, they try to get it. Analysts say the company could soon be making a play for properties around the world. The finance minister dismissed accusations that he was making a play for power.
make a play forattempt to attract or attain. informal
1999 Independent Tracie was seen…heading out for a club to make a play for a cute barman.