Cardiff boss Dave Jones has confirmed contract talks with star striker Jay Bothroyd are still ongoing.
The 28-year-old, who has been tipped for a surprise England call-up after his sparkling form this season, will see his current deal expire in the summer.
Jones is naturally determined to retain the services of a man whose 11 goals this term have put the Bluebirds firmly in the frame for promotion to the Premier League.
But the Cardiff boss understands that the former Coventry, Perugia, Charlton and Wolves man could be tempted to seek pastures new.
"We are in talks with Jay and his agent, but there is no agreement yet," Jones told the South Wales Echo. "It's the same situation with Chris Burke and Adam Matthews.
"I had a chat with Jay. We are in negotiations with Jay and his agent, but if he doesn't sign a new deal, then so be it.
"We would have to respect that, but we will try everything we can to make sure he does sign.
"You can never be fearful of losing players. As a manager you can lose them to injury or transfer. You have to be aware you could always lose a player."
Jones would welcome the opportunity to bolster his promotion-chasing squad in the January transfer window, but is still to discover from his board if funds will be forthcoming.
"We have not paid a transfer fee for a player in almost 18 months," he added.
"And we don't know yet whether there will be money available in January to strengthen. That decision hasn't been taken yet.
"If there is money we will have to see if the right players are available."