Northampton Town manager Jon Brady says talks remain ongoing about Bristol City target Fraser Horsfall staying at the club.
The Cobblers have Horsfall, Shaun McWilliams and goalkeeper Liam Roberts out of contract this summer.
Horsfall is the only player that City have been attributed with interest in as the Robins continue to scour the lower leagues to find hungry players for next to nothing.
Northampton have just suffered play-off heartache, losing to Mansfield Town over two legs following final day drama which saw Bristol Rovers displace them in the automatic promotion spots.
It has left Northampton with work to do to persuade their players to stay with Horsfall reportedly ‘likely to leave’ despite their best efforts.
“We’ve got strong relationships with all of those three players (Roberts, Horsfall and McWilliams) and talks are ongoing," said manager Brady to the official club website.
“We have tried throughout the season to tie those players up but they have chosen to wait until now and that’s fine, that’s their right.
“We are doing our best and we are in constant communication with those players and time will tell over the next few weeks.
"We are realistic about the situation, it’s a realistic process and we have spoken to the players about that and there are certain parameters that we have set with them.”
City are the favourites to sign Horsfall and are ahead of the other clubs vying for his signature which would be of a benefit if there to push through with their interest.
The 25-year-old played 53 times across the 2021/22 season in a Northampton defence that conceded the fewest league goals in League Two with 21 clean sheets recorded.
From Brady’s comments, there is an undisclosed timescale for Horsfall and co to state their intentions to the club as they begin to plan for next season with definitive answers needed shortly.
That is the similar position that Nigel Pearson and City have put on their out-of-contract quartet.
Centre-back pair Timm Klose and Robbie Cundy are out of contract with the latter reportedly receiving offers from elsewhere.
Andy King meanwhile has been offered a player-coach role with Pearson keen for him to join the staff, replicating what he has previously done at his other clubs. Academy goalkeeper Will Buse is also out of contract, having spent the last season winning the Southern League with Taunton Town.
There is no specific time frame however for the three first-team team players to get back to the club but there is a desire to know where the club stands.