Aberdeen are this week set to step up contract talks with skipper Graeme Shinnie.
The 27-year-old Scotland international midfielder’s deal runs out at the end of the season.
That means Shinnie would be free to talk to any interested clubs when the winter transfer window opens on January 1.
Dons boss Derek McInnes is desperate to tie down his captain long term.
The Reds have tabled a contract to make Shinnie one of the highest-paid players at the club.
McInnes planned to sit down with Shinnie and his agent after the transfer window closed on August 31 to thrash out a deal.
However, talks were put on ice as the Reds skipper was recently away on international duty with Scotland.
Those negotiations will now resume this week.
On contract talks with Shinnie, McInnes said: “We will pick up on that this week.
“Graeme has been away and didn’t come back until Thursday.”
Signed from Inverness Caley Thistle on a two-year deal in 2015, Aberdonian Shinnie penned a contract extension in January 2017 until summer 2019.
Championship Bristol City were understood to be monitoring Shinnie during the summer.
Winger Gary Mackay-Steven is also out of contract at the end of the season and recently confirmed he has had no talks with Aberdeen regarding a possible new contract.
It is understood the Dons are keen to secure Mackay-Steven on a new deal.
Shinnie made his international breakthrough when earning his debut cap as a substitute in the 2-0 friendly loss to Peru in Lima this summer.
He started the next game of the two-match South American trip as the Scots went down 1-0 to Mexico.
Scotland boss Alex McLeish retained Shinnie in his squad for the recent Hampden games against Belgium and Albania.
The Aberdonian came off the bench in the 4-0 friendly loss to World Cup semi-finalists Belgium to secure a third cap.
He was an unused substitute in the 2-0 UEFA Nations League Group C1 win over Albania.
McInnes said: “It is great to see Graeme involved with the Scotland squad.
“He came bouncing through the door after coming back from international duty.
“Although he didn’t play against Albania, which was a brilliant result, he was involved in the training and preparation for that. And he came on against Belgium.
“All those little bits of experience being away with the Scotland squad can only help in the future for Graeme.
“For me he has taken a big step forward from the games in the close season when they went to Peru and Mexico.
“What he’s done now is let the manager know his abilities.
“If Graeme keeps up his level of performance for us I am hopeful, and I am sure, he will be involved in future Scotland squads.
“We are hoping he can be at the heart of that over the next period of time.
“Sometimes you have to wait for starts but I have no doubt he is good enough to go on and do that.”