Crewe boss Dario Gradi has warned Billy Jones that he may elect to keep him at Gresty Road until the summer, despite the fact bids are expected in January.
The talented starlet turned down a contract offer from the League One outfit in September, having decided his future lies elsewhere when his existing deal expires in the summer.
Jones had hoped to be on the move in the winter transfer window but Gradi has now stated that he will put the club's interest first, which could mean an exit will only be permitted in the summer.
The veteran tactician believes it could be of greater benefit for Crewe to retain Jones for the rest of the campaign, and then take a fee set by an independent tribunal at the season's close.
"We will do what is best for us," Gradi told the club's official website.
"If that means going to a tribunal in the summer and keeping him here until the end of the season then we will. It will depend on what happens in January and if any decent offers are made.
"People have spoken to me about him but there has been nothing concrete. Nothing can be done until after Christmas anyway, but I'm sure he knows more about it than I do. I'm sure his man will be ringing up clubs declaring his availability. I certainly won't be doing that.
"I have a valuation in mind to what he is worth. I've been saying for a while now that out of the players we have here he would be one that could go on and play in The Premiership now.
"That has been my opinion for over a year now and I've not started saying it because he has rejected a new contract."