Mansfield Town will sit down and have talks with centre half Ryan Tafazolli next week over signing a new deal with the club this summer with the player keen to stay.
Being out of contract, Tafazolli will attract interest elsewhere from bigger clubs, but the 24-year-old today said the biggest factor in keeping him would be another season under boss Adam Murray whom he described as the best manager working outside the Premier League.
Murray said club chairman John Radford was ready to push the boat out on a deal to keep Tafazolli at the club.
Tafazolli said: “Playing under this gaffer here he has turned me from a boy to a man – he really has. He has brought me on massively and I couldn’t speak highly enough of him.
“For me he is hands-down the best manager outside of the Premier League.
Click HERE to read about Tafazoli’s fitness fight for the weekend
“That’s a big thing for me as I want to improve as much as I can as a footballer and I know this time next year if I am playing underneath Adam Murray I am going to become twice the footballer I am now.
“That’s a massive thing for me. There are no managers out there that would improve me as much as Adam Murray has.”
He added: “From the start of the season to now I can name a lot of things I have improved on, and it’s not been that long a period compared to the first three years I was here.
“That’s a massive factor for me. Being able to work under the gaffer here again would be unbelievable.
“I have improved all-round in every aspect. The biggest one for me is going from being a boy to a man.
“He has taught me how to become a leader and set examples, how to influence other players and get the best out of my team mates.
“I am definitely a different animal now and I have to put that all down to the gaffer.”
Tafazolli said he wanted to be a part of a settled side that can grown together.
“What you’ve seen this season is a progression throughout the season of what we are about and what we are trying to become,” he said.
“You look at the teams at the top end of the table now and they’ve just become well-oiled machines. Teams like Oxford over the last two seasons have put together good teams.”
Boss Murray is hopeful he can keep his defensive rock and expects him to be captain at some stage.
“He has been superb,” said Murray. “He has shown a maturity and since I’ve had the job he has come on tenfold.
“Taff is a leader now and I look at him in a captain’s mould.
“He dictates and dominates and has a lot of respect from his peers and myself. He is a big player for us.”
On a new deal, he added: “I spoke with the chairman about it and the chairman will push the boat out to try to keep him.
“He will do everything he can to put a deal on the table that we feel warrants Taff’s ability.
“I want to keep him and the chairman is desperate to keep him as he’s been a good player, but what we will find this season is that there will be a lot of good players available.
“Me and Taff are always talking – he never stops! We’ve had a lot of chats about it and we both know where we are at.
“We are due to sit down again probably at the start of next week with the chairman and hopefully discussions will be positive.
“Up to now he’s been a great servant and, as I said, I see him as a leader in this group and someone that will be a captain in his career. So if we can keep him – super-duper.”