Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has called on Paul Scharner to sign a new deal at the club and end his career with the Latics.
Scharner's current contract expires at the end of the season and as yet no new terms have been agreed.
It means Scharner is free to speak to other clubs in January and sign a pre-contract agreement if he chooses.
Martinez is keen to keep the Austria international at the DW Stadium and he admits talks are ongoing with the versatile performer.
"Paul is our longest-serving player, has a very good relationship with the club, and I've a very good relationship with him," said Martinez.
"But once you get to this situation, it's part of the rules that players can speak with other clubs and look at other options, and I'm sure that's what he's going to do. We need to accept it.
"In that respect we want Paul to stay, to finish his career with Wigan Athletic, and it's something we'll address when the situation occurs.
"We did speak about it in the summer, and we're in touch on a daily basis."
FocusedWith a busy schedule looming of six matches in 23 days this month, Martinez is confident Scharner's attention will not be diverted by where his future may lie.
"Paul is an experienced man and is focused on Wigan," insisted the Spaniard.
"I'll tell you the truth, he's more focused on the six games we have this month than on his own future, and that's the way it should be.
"Overall, when you allow a contract to run down, it's one of those moments where a player wants to reflect on the future.
"He's been here a long, long time, so it's no bad thing to see how January develops and see what his thoughts are."