Inverness Caledonian Thistle boss Terry Butcher has hinted Lee Cox will be sold to Swindon Town before the transfer window closes.
Cox is out of contract in the summer and Butcher is keen on securing the 21-year-old midfielder on extended terms.
However, Butcher knows the club cannot compete with the Robins' personal terms and he is wary of losing the ex-Leicester man for nothing.
It is not a complete doom-and-gloom scenario for Butcher as he is hoping potential signings will see Inverness as an ideal club to progress their careers.
"I have been speaking to Clive Hart, Lee's agent, about another year's contract but we wouldn't be able to come anywhere near to matching Swindon's wages," admitted Butcher.
"They are also looking at offering Lee a much longer contract. They are in the top six now and have big ambitions to go up this year.
"We could lose Lee but if that happens, it is great for him and it also sends out a signal to people who might want to come here.
"It will show players they can better themselves at Caley Thistle and progress their careers.
"Lee is approaching the end of his contract and if he walks away this summer, we get nothing."