Alex McLeish is remaining hopeful that he will get 'an early nod' from Manchester City regarding Joe Hart.
The goalkeeper has earned rave reviews for his performances on-loan at St Andrews this season and could go to the World Cup with England.
Hart is scheduled to return to Man City for the 2010/11 campaign but McLeish is keen to extend his stay for a further 12 months.
Man City have yet to decide what they will do and McLeish has previously admitted he will probably have to wait until the summer to find out.
But the Blues manager would like an answer in the near future so he could start preparing for life without Hart if necessary.
He said: "It will be great to get an early nod on Joe from City because we wouldn't want to be going into the May-June period thinking that Joe is going to be coming back here - when he is not.
"We have to get an answer from City quite soon - and I am sure Joe wants an answer as well.
"Manchester City have every right to answer when they want to. He is their player and they maybe don't have their plans fully in place yet. I can totally understand that.
"I am being selfish for Birmingham and they are doing it for Manchester City reasons so it is a difficult one. Joe is unfortunately caught in the middle of it."
McLeish fears that Hart might become frustrated if he is asked to sit on the substitutes' bench at City and provide back-up to Shay Given, following his exploits this season.
"I know managers can't think about one player and one team. You have to think about the whole team and the whole club and you have to have a vision for the whole club.
"But the human element in me says a player of Joe's magnitude, after what he has done this season, will find it very difficult to be sitting on someone's bench next season regardless of maybe getting a pay hike.
"I just don't see it in that guy's nature to put up with that but it will be someone else's problem if that is the decision Manchester City make."
If Hart does return to Eastlands then Maik Taylor would be likely to see more regular action next term.
And the Northern Ireland international, 38, has vowed to carry on playing for as long as the enjoyment is there as he prepares for new contract talks.
"The minute I don't enjoy going in day to day and training, is the day I will pack up," said Taylor.
"It's not necessarily about playing at the weekend. It's about enjoying going to work every day which is your bread and butter."