Rangers boss Ally McCoist is willing to risk losing Madjid Bougherra on a free transfer next summer if it means keeping the defender at Ibrox this season.
However, the manager is not ruling out a new deal for the 28-year-old, who is entering the final year of his existing contract after arriving in Glasgow in 2008.
Former Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton centre-back Bougherra has been linked with a move away from the Scottish Premier League champions, although no offers have been made.
But McCoist remains determined to retain the Algeria international, telling the Daily Record: "I'd rather have Madjid here this season than lose him now.
"He's such a good player for us and I know he could walk away from the club for nothing at the end of this campaign.
"Circumstances will dictate what happens but I wouldn't rule out a new contract for him."