Southend United chairman Ron Martin is ready to offer Lee Barnard a 'much improved contract' to stay at Roots Hall.
The Shrimpers' leading scorer is out of contract at the end of the season and has been tipped to leave during the January transfer window.
Barnard joined the club from Tottenham Hotspur two years ago and was linked with a move to local rivals Colchester United earlier in the season.
Martin remains hopeful the 25-year-old will commit his future to Southend and is planning to reward the striker with a generous contract.
"We would prefer Lee to stay and hope he feels similarly," Martin told The Echo.
"Lee fits in and is well liked at Southend. I'm prepared to give him a much improved contract to encourage him to remain part of our longer-term plan.
"We have been talking for a few months now and we can only hope that Lee's agent is on side."