Darren Ferguson says he will offer Doncaster Rovers legend James Coppinger a new contract - regardless of the size of his budget.
Speculation about Coppinger’s future has intensified this week as he approaches the end of his 14th season at the club.
But, with other clubs potentialy monitoring the 37-year-old’s situation, Ferguson has confirmed he will put a contract offer to Rovers’ all-time leading appearance maker.
“Whatever I get, the first thing I will be doing is offering him a new contract,” said Ferguson.
“He deserves it. He’s been excellent this season.
“I’ve said to him I feel that he’s had a very good season.
“I don’t see signs of his age having any relevance to his performances. In fact in many ways he’s going the other way.
“My decision would always be based on what I’ve seen this season on the pitch and other things like how he conducts himself and how he leads by example at the training ground and off the pitch.
“He’s not shown a desire to go into the coaching side, so it has to come down to one decision. Do I think he can have an impact next season? My answer would be yes.”
Ferguson is expecting to finalise his budget for next season at a meeting with the board on Friday.
Rovers’ boss confirmed last month he wanted Coppinger to remain at the club beyond the terms his current deal, which expires this summer.
Coppinger has also expressed his preference to see out his playing days at Doncaster.
“James and I have been in constant communication about this,” said Ferguson.
“The communication to him from myself has been that, on a footballing basis, I will be offering him a new contract.
“I can’t do that until I know what we’ve got.
“But he’s fully aware that his manager wants him to get a new contract.
“That’s where we are at and that’s as far as we can go with it at the moment.
“But certainly I feel that whatever money I’ve got to play with, the first thing I’m doing is giving him a contract.”
Coppinger, who has sat out the last two games, remains a doubt for the final game of the season at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday (5.30pm).