Celtic are attempting to tie Callum McGregor down on a new improved deal.
The Scottish champions already have the midfielder contracted until 2023, under an agreement struck just last December.
However, as manager Neil Lennon explained, they are anxious to both reward the player for his improved performance and stave off potential predatory interest from England when the January transfer window opens.
Leicester City, led by former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, tried to get him in the close- season, but were rebuffed with Celtic not interested in selling.
“We are in talks with Callum at the minute,” said Lennon, whose side meet Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena this lunchtime.
“In the talks we have had so far, he has been receptive to staying, so we are hoping to get that one finalised.
“There was interest in him during the summer. There was no confirmation of a bid but there was definite interest – no question about it.
“We held on to him, obviously, and now it is important we do the right thing, the principled thing, which is to give him a new, improved deal as he deserves it.
“I thought he was brilliant against Cluj on Thursday, as he was over in Rennes, too.
“His all-round game is of a very high quality. Not only does he do the interception work and the second-ball work, but then he has the vision and the execution to split defences open.
“He is so reliable and I think people take that for granted because he has that consistency of performance week-in, week-out.”
It is something Lennon himself can’t afford to do, as last season McGregor made 69 appearances between club and country duties – a tally that was more than any other player in Europe.
“We have to balance things because, on the one hand, he is too good a player to rest. But on the other, fatigue can kick in due to the volume of games,” said the Celts boss.
“There was no question that happened towards the end of last season.
“We left him out of the trip to Estonia, gave him a week off then and he got the benefit of that.
“As the season goes on, and the amount of games come thick and fast, I am sure at some stage we will give him a break here and there just to keep him fresh. But he is in a good place at the minute.
“I do chat to Callum about it. I will always ask him how he is feeling about this game or that and maybe about getting a break.
“He is always honest, so having to worry about him over-doing it is not coming into my consideration.”