Southend United boss Phil Brown is hoping to persuade Ryan Cresswell to stay at the club, despite the defender's desire to leave.
The 25-year-old Rotherham-born centre-half, who played 54 times in his debut season for the Shrimpers, has told Brown he wants to move back north.
"I'm hoping it's not the end of his Southend career," Brown told BBC Essex.
"I've got to sit down with him and his advisors and try and convince him to give us another year."
Cresswell joined Southend from his hometown club last summer and was a stand-out performer, scoring eight goals as the Roots Hall side reached the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final and finished 11th in League Two.
"He put the call into me at the end of the season, which was disappointing, because Ryan's had one year at Southend, and showed everyone what a good player he is," said former Hull boss Brown.
"That was in the face of not being settled, so if we can get him settled, there may be another 25% to 50% to give.
"He was a big asset to us last year. A manager never wants to lose his better players and last year Ryan was one of our better players."
Fellow defender Chris Barker will be at Roots Hall next season, after he triggered a one-year extension to his contract by making a set number of appearances last term.
But chief executive Steve Kavanagh is in talks with out-of-contract quartet Sean Clohessey, Gavin Tomlin, Luke Prosser and Barry Corr.
"We're moving slowly but surely to getting them re-signed," said Brown, who is preparing for his first full season in charge of the Essex club.
"However, when they're out there they are swimming in a market that's unprotected as far as we're concerned."
Brown also expects to appoint former Doncaster and Darlington manager Dave Penney as his assistant, with Graham Coughlan becoming first team coach.
And, after expressing his disappointment with the current scouting system, Brown will recruit Bob Shaw as his new chief scout - the pair have worked together at Derby County, Bolton and Hull.
"When I came into the club there were no real match reports, no player reports, no history of any sort of scouting network or mechanism," he said.
"That needed to be put in place for the long-term future of the club."