Aberdeen boss Mark McGhee has confirmed the club's desire to secure Nigeria international Sone Aluko on extended terms.
The skilful 20-year-old is tied to the Pittodrie club until the end of next season, however, McGhee wants him secured for the long term.
McGhee has already been in touch with director of football Willie Miller about opening talks with Aluko's management team right away.
The former Motherwell boss insists Aluko is part of the club's plans, but has confirmed balancing the books will come before wage demands.
"Sone has more than a year of his contract left to run but we will be looking to extend it," McGhee told the Press and Journal.
"I have already spoken to Willie Miller about getting the ball rolling right away.
"Sone is a big part of the plans, although a lot of it depends on the new players coming in as well, because we have to balance the books in terms of the summer budget."
Aluko has shown glimpses of his potential as his campaign has been disrupted by injury and McGhee knows there is more to come.
"Sone is still nowhere near his best and he probably won't get there this season," he continued. "He showed us glimpses of what he is capable of again on Saturday.
"I have gone through a double hernia myself and it is no fun. I have no doubt he will be back to his best for next season. It is a big year coming up for Sone.
"Even if he does not extend, he might be playing to try to earn himself a move elsewhere."
Meanwhile, Charlie Mulgrew has hit back at Zander Diamond's suggestions that the players out of contract in the summer are not fighting for the cause.
100 per cent
Diamond intimated that, with some players likely to leave Pittodrie this summer, they were not giving their all, something Mulgrew disputes.
"We are all giving 100 per cent," said Mulgrew. "I know all the boys and we are in this together.
"Steven Maclean, Jim Paterson, Mark Kerr and Stuart Duff - we are all pushing and working hard to do well for the club.
"I don't think anyone is going to pull out of a challenge. That is not the type of thing these boys do. We are all pulling in the right direction.
"Everyone is playing for their future. If they are staying here or moving away, it doesn't matter. There is no dressing room split."