Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee has vowed to stay patient as he looks to secure the futures of several players.
Charlie Mulgrew, Gary McDonald, Lee Miller, Richard Foster and Mark Kerr will be out of contract at the end of the season and have yet to agree new deals.
They will be free to speak to other clubs next month but McGhee insists he can understand why they are keeping their options open.
The Dons manager is confident of keeping his stars at Pittodrie and is prepared to wait until the summer if necessary.
"I think most of them will probably be manoeuvring to give themselves opportunity to speak to other teams now," McGhee said in the Daily Record.
"If I was still a player then I would be doing the same so we have got to live with that.
"There is nothing we can do about that as it is a reality in the modern game, particularly when agents are involved.
"What I will say is I remain hopeful that the ones we want to stay will eventually end up staying here.
"There will be no deadlines though as I am working towards the first game of the new season in those terms.
"For instance, if Mulgrew keeps me waiting until then and agrees to a new deal the day before the campaign kicks off then fine.
"He is a good player as are the others so we are prepared to wait for them."
McGhee has reassured supporters that if players do leave he will strive to bring in reinforcements.
"We will keep getting players in on trial, looking at players in games and talking to scouts abroad to have options," he explained.
"If we have 10 players out of contract I would like to have 10 lined up who were better but that's not realistic."