West Ham co-owner David Sullivan believes he is owed a favour by Matthew Upson as he attempts to persuade the defender to stay at Upton Park.
The centre-back has just more than one year remaining on his current contract and the Hammers are offering an extension, but reportedly with no pay rise.
Upson currently earns £65,000-a-week, however, he has been linked with former club Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham where he would earn a salary increase.
Sullivan, though, hopes the 30-year-old will sign as a token of gratitude after the ex-Birmingham supremo allowed the England international to leave for West Ham in 2007.
"We all really want Matthew to stay," Sullivan said in The Sun.
"I did him a favour letting him leave Birmingham and I hope he can return it."
Upson has remained coy on his plans and in mid-February was only prepared to say that this summer's World Cup is his immediate focus.