Rotherham United boss Paul Warne has admitted that he failed in his attempts to persuade Will Vaulks to pen a long-term deal this week.
The Millers triggered an extension clause in the influential midfielder's current deal, which expires in the summer, meaning he is now contracted to the club until the summer of 2020.
But Warne is keen to get Vaulks, who has been attracting the interest of Wales manager Ryan Giggs, to commit his foreseeable future to the Millers.
However, he was unable to do so in the first round of discussions and admits triggering the year's option buys him some time to try and persuade Vaulks that the AESSEAL New York Stadium should remain his home for the next few years.
Extending his current deal also gives the club security should suitors make a move for him in the summer.
The former Falkirk midfielder, who has been a key player in the Millers' championship campaign, is a regular name in the transfer gossip column and is often the subject of speculation, with Rangers, Norwich and Rangers just three clubs to be linked with a move for him.
Warne is putting the job of getting his midfielder, who has missed just one Championship game this season, to agree new terms at the top of his list of things to do.
“Taking up his option was an absolute no-brainer and I could have taken it up in August,” Warne said.
“You see the season he's had and obviously I want to keep him. I've tried to get him on a longer deal but it didn't really come to fruition, or at least not at the moment.
“By taking this extra year it gives us another 14-16 months to convince him to stay. That will be one of my jobs in the summer.
“He has been one of our top performers and has been getting a lot of interest from other clubs no doubt and it's culminated in a potential call-up for Wales, which would be some achievement.”
Vaulks will have an important role to play if the Millers are to get anything from their testing trip to Sheffield United.
The Millers will need to supplement their impressive home form with some away wins if they are to stay up this season, though few would expect them to get anything at Bramall Lane.
Warne added: “I just want to put on the record that no matter what happens at the end of the season, I think Chris Wilder has been manager of the season.
“The way they play and what they have got, which we have, is a real camaraderie amongst their squad. You can see that in the way they play for each other and that's really good to see and I do enjoy watching Sheff U to be fair.”