Port Vale manager Micky Adams has assured striker Marc Richards that he will be offered a new contract.
The 27-year-old's current deal is set to expire in the summer and Adams is keen not to let his 13-goal top scorer walk away for nothing.
More than a dozen Vale players are out of contract at the end of the season, but many of them are under 24 and will therefore not become free agents.
Richards, however, could be snapped up without a penny changing hands and Adams conceded it may be a problem.
"We still have that problem with Marc Richards," he said in The Sentinel. "Marc is scoring goals, so we obviously run the risk of losing him.
"But I want him to keep scoring goals and he's somebody I want to retain.
"I've got no doubts, at all, we will offer Marc a contract."
Meanwhile, Adams also admitted that he is in no rush to secure deals in the transfer window, as the loan market will continue to be open after January.
"We've got all season, because the loan window only closes for a week after January," he added.