Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce is hopeful Paul Scharner will sign a new deal with the club as he looks to step up contract talks during pre-season.
The Latics are keen to tie Scharner down on fresh terms as he enters the final year of his current contract at the JJB Stadium.
Bruce explained that Wigan are 'closer' to securing the Austrian on a new deal, but admits further discussions are needed before Scharner puts pen-to-paper.
Bruce told the Evening Post: "We have been talking to Paul and I hope we are close to a deal.
"Probably an ideal time to speak more is when we're in Austria - we can throw him off the side of a mountain if he doesn't sign!
"I really hope we can keep him. When we moved Paul back into the defence last season, he was a major factor in why we did so well.
"He is a very good player and has done extremely well at Latics - that is why we want to tie up a deal for him.
"We'll do whatever we possibly can, and I think we are closer to agreeing something than we were a couple of months ago.
"There's still a couple of small things we need to agree on."