Aberdeen fear Chris Maguire will walk out on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The 21-year-old has been among the goals recently with a hat-trick in their weekend FA Cup success over East Fife.
The Dons have been trying for sometime to get the Scotland Under 21 international to discuss his long-term future without success.
With Maguire now playing some of the best football of his career the club are unsure whether they could even match his terms.
Football director Willie Miller is a huge fan of Maguire and feels the club could not have tried harder to keep him.
"We have been trying to get Chris around the negotiating table for the last 18 months but he has so far refused all our approaches," explained Miller.
"The fact that we began the process so long ago shows how highly we rate and value him.
"We were showing faith in Chris long before this season and he has shown why we know he'd become a top player.
"But I doubt if we could offer him good enough terms to stay."