Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill is keen to open discussions with Lee Cattermole over a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
Cattermole, 24, joined the Black Cats from Wigan Athletic in 2009 for a fee of £6 million and is entering the final 12 months of his current contract - meaning he could potentially walk away for free next summer.
The midfielder has had his critics while on Wearside, but remained club captain when O'Neill was appointed despite his manager admitting the former Middlesbrough player needs to work on his discipline.
"He's 24 and he's the captain of the side. Sometimes he needs to keep his discipline better because over the course of the year I expect he'll pick up a couple of silly bookings," O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo.
Yet what he lacks in discipline, his boss feels he more than makes up for in other areas of his game, and O'Neill is determined to tie him down to a new contract.
"Cattermole has been excellent since I came to the football club and he may well have been before, I don't know about that," he added. "I don't want to build him up too much though, particularly as he has a contract to sign here!"