Sheffield United skipper Michael Doyle is "desperate" for fellow midfielder Kevin McDonald to stay at the club.
McDonald, 23, is out of contract and boss Danny Wilson confirmed on Wednesday he has not returned for pre-season training.
"I'm desperate for him to come back, I think all of the lads are," the 31-year-old told BBC Radio Sheffield.
"Unfortunately he's not here at the minute but I think it would be a massive lift if he came back in."
He added: "He's a massive influence on the pitch and a great character in the dressing room too. He was a stand-out player for us last season.
"A couple of the lads have spoken to him and I think he wants to be here so hopefully they can agree a deal."
The former Leeds and Coventry man is confident that a good pre-season can help the Blades go one better than last season.
A campaign which saw them finish third with 90 points ultimately ended in disappointment when they lost to Huddersfield in the League One play-off final.
"After the play-offs we've had a good break and we're back now to put it right," he continued.
"We won't be making any excuses at the start of the season, the aim is to work hard and hit the ground running."