Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan says he can do little to try and tempt Adam Johnson to stay at the club.
Johnson is out-of-contract at the end of the season and has thus far shunned all attempts to make him sign a new deal.
And whilst chief executive Keith Lamb is continuing talks, Strachan admits he is unlikely to be able to influence the young winger.
"How can I tempt him? I'm sure Steve (Gibson) and Keith (Lamb), who have known him for a long time, have done their best. I don't think I can do any better," he said.
"I'm only doing my job and it's very hard for me to sit down with anyone and have a heart to heart with them. I don't know them that well.
"When you sit down it's vital that you known them and they know you. You can then have a conversation and have knowledge of the person, I know Adam the footballer, but not as a person.
"We will have to wait and see what happens in January, see where we are, see how we are playing. Circumstances can change in a couple of months, we are not making any promises to anyone.
"I believe Steve and Keith have made numerous attempts to sign Adam up to a new contract with Middlesbrough. I know he is a top player.
"I have only known Adam two weeks and as a manager it's very hard to speak to someone and commit yourself in that time, just as it is hard for him.
"For 18 months the club have been trying to get him to sign a new contract. There have been proposals put to him and his family, so we have to keep working because he is a talented lad, that's for sure."
Strachan has refused to point the blame at Johnson for missing a penalty in their recent loss to Plymouth.
"There was a big hoo-ha about him missing a penalty, but he is entitled to do something wrong every now and again," he said.
"I have taken them myself and it's not easy. If you look at his record it is phenomenal. When he seems to be scoring and playing well we are fine.
"We must become a more whole team and not rely on one or two players.
"We need to be able to cope when players do have a day off so that we can still be successful."