Winger Ryan Flynn is expected to sign a new contract with Sheffield United this week, manager Nigel Clough has revealed.
The Scottish winger - a key member of the United side which reached the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, and made an unlikely late-season bid for the play-offs - was out of contract in the summer.
But securing his future was made a priority by former England international Clough, who has also made similar moves to tie down defenders Bob Harris and Harry Maguire.
But, with two games of the League One season remaining, the futures of Matt Hill and Chris Porter remain less clear, with Clough admitting that decisions will have to be made “in the next week or two”.
“It’s an ongoing process,” Clough, speaking ahead of tonight’s trip to Oldham Athletic, said.
“But we’re very close with Ryan, and we hope to have something in place by the end of this week.
“It was important to tie him down long-term, and now we have a few decisions to make on a few other lads so we’ll have a few decisions to make over the next week or two.”
With centre-half Neill Collins an injury doubt for the trip to Boundary Park, Hill could be handed a welcome chance to impress against Lee Johnson’s Latics while Porter, who scored the winner from the bench last Friday against Port Vale, has been challenged by Clough to shed his ‘super-sub’ tag.
The Bramall Lane boss, who has made a new striker his number one priority in the transfer market this summer, added: “We are getting there in terms of our budget for next season, but there are still one or two things to iron out.
“We have identified a number of targets already, and we have made up our minds where we need to improve. Some players are out of contract, but some are still under contract so they could take a little more time.
“A couple of players on our radar are still involved in relegation battles and play-off campaigns, too, so out of respect to their clubs we’ll have to bide our time before making our approaches.”
“There’s a mix of youth and experience on our list,” Clough continued, “but the one thing we have to get right is the striker.
“Our performances have been good recently up to a point, and we just need that focal point up front to make a difference.
“But, of course, strikers always cost more money and will want more money in wages, and even then there aren’t any guarantees.”
On the eve of United’s trip over the Pennines, Clough re-affirmed the message that he wants to finish the season in a positive fashion: “We want to see a good attitude from the players for these next two games,” he said.
“A year down the line, we want to be more than just challenging for the play-offs and games at this stage might really count for something.”