Terry Butcher has opened contract talks with Inverness' Jonny Hayes in a bid to secure the midfielder beyond the end of the season.
The playmaker's current deal expires this summer and the 24-year-old is free to agree a pre-contract move elsewhere.
Butcher is now hoping to take the discussions to another level in a bid to keep the ex-Leicester man with the Highland club.
The Irishman was a relative unknown prior to joining Inverness and Butcher is hoping Haynes stays loyal to the SPL side.
"I had talks with Jonny and his agent," explained Butcher. "Now we need to take it to the next level.
"There is a concern someone could come in with a pre-contract offer but we can't stop that. Jonny is playing on a regular basis and is the vice-captain here.
"Jonny has a great platform to do well here, the club has rescued his career. Both he and Lee Cox were unknowns before they came here."