Sunderland have started talks with Steed Malbranque over a new contract to keep the experienced midfielder at the Stadium of Light.
Malbranque has made over 100 appearances for the Black Cats since his move to Wearside in 2008 from Tottenham Hotspur.
He has featured 29 times for Steve Bruce's side this season and is regarded as a key member of the Sunderland squad.
The 31-year-old is now set to be rewarded with an extension in the North East after chairman Niall Quinn confirmed negotiations have started.
"We have opened negotiations over a new contract with Steed," Quinn told the club's official website.
"He is a great asset to the club."