Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate is worried about failing to secure Jonathan Woodgate's services permanently.
The England international is currently on a season-long loan deal from Liga giants Real Madrid and has impressed with his home-town club.
Boro are keen to tie down Woodgate's services long-term, although it remains to be seen whether the ex-Leeds and Newcastle man is ready to commit to the Teessiders.
Southgate knows the 27-year-old will give his all until the end of the Premiership season, but is worried he could be tempted elsewhere next term.
"I can't stop people watching him and I can't put him away and lock him up until the summer," he said in The Guardian.
"I know that Jonathan is totally committed to what we're doing here and loving it.
"His pace, which allows us to hold a slightly higher defensive line, makes a big difference to us."