Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray believes if he can convince prized centre half Ryan Tafazolli that the club will be challenging for honours next season, the out-of-contract defender will stay.
Murray said Tafazolli, 24, had already been offered a good financial package to sign a new deal but believed the decision wasn’t about money and is hopeful he can persuade him to stay and help Tafazolli make a far bigger move when he leaves.
“The chairman has offered him a very good deal,” said Murray. “Taff wants to weigh up his options as he wants to play as high as he can.
“There is no deadline for him. To deal with Taff, he is not financially driven.
“My advice to Taff is I think in the last 12 months, and he agrees with me, that he has come on in leaps and bounds to where he was.
“I said within the next 12 months you will miss out the step you are going to make now (if you leave) and you will go to the next one.
“Taff wants to know, and I get it, that he is going to be in a successful team here next year. That’s up to the club to prove to him that’s where we want to go.
“But Taff wants to stay. He loves working in this environment and he’s became a leader of our group.
“The chairman can’t really do much more in terms of his deal. Now all we need to do as a club is make sure Taff understands the vision of where we want to go.
“We don’t want to be at the wrong end of the table or no man’s land in the middle of the table. We want to be up there every season and I know we will.”
Murray has also begun talks with other members of his current squad about keeping most of them.
“I know there has to be negotiations, but the dealings I do are fair,” he said. “The offer is there, think about it, then the offer is gone. I set my sights on players and a lot of my players I’ve got now I want to keep.
“But there are a lot of players out there and I haven’t time to waste.
“I’ve had a busy 18 months/two years. I didn’t have a summer last season.
“I’ve not had a day off for two years and I want to spend what will probably only be a week with my kids this summer.
“My players will be offered good deals and if they don’t want to take them it’s no problem. There will be a lot of footballers out there.
“I want to keep this team together more than anything, but I’m not going to have my pants pulled down.”