Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray is confident he can persuade Andrew Taylor to sign a new contract.
The 24-year-old's current deal is due to expire in the summer and he could leave Boro for nothing.
Taylor had spent the first half of the season on loan at Watford and he looked to be on his way out of the club he came trough as a youngster.
But, after Mowbray took charge, he shunned Watford's attempts to keep Taylor and has since turned him into a first-team regular in a new midfield role.
And Mowbray is confident that Taylor will remain, saying: "His contract isn't sorted yet, but in my mind, it's not very far off.
"It isn't signed yet, but I'm happy with the way our talks and conversations have gone.
"There's one or two things that still need ironing out, and until he actually puts pen to paper you never really know.
"If he keeps playing as well as he has been, he might find himself with more options in the summer. But I'd be pretty hopeful that he'll still be here at Middlesbrough next season."