Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has not given up hope he can convince manager David Moyes to extend his contract beyond the end of the season.
But the 67-year-old will have to wait until season's end to put his persuasion skills to use.
Moyes has long been touted as one of the best managers in the Premier League and would attract many admirers if he were to leave the Merseyside club.
But despite Everton riding high in the league and with a Champions League spot still in their sights, Moyes has opened the door for his exit after announcing he would not discuss a new contract until after the final game of the season.
Kenwright admitted Moyes' decision put the club in a difficult decision but acknowledged the manager had earned the right to take his time to contemplate his next career move.
"He's made a simple statement, give me to the end of the season," Kenwright told Sky Sports News. "He knows in making that statement it's not the easiest one for the football club and he's acknowledged that to me. But he also knows the respect I have for him.
"So hopefully in seven weeks when the last match is played we can have the five minutes that David has alluded to for the last six months or so that will sort out a new contract, a new adventure, and keep David at the football club.
"If it doesn't, the man leaves with his head held high."
However, speculation that Moyes could leave Everton has left the door ajar for an attractive managerial position within the Premier League.
But Kenwright refuses to acknowledge any outside attempts to usurp Moyes' control over the squad.
"Does the phone ring? Yes," Kenwright said. "What is my response? My response is very simple - Everton Football Club has its manager."
Moyes' future at the club is not the only news creating a buzz in the rumour mill, with the sale of the club still attracting its share of attention.
And Kenwright hopes if new owners are found, they will take the club to the next level.
"They (the fans) don't want another Bill Kenwright. They want someone who can take it forward," he said.
"There will be someone out there. This week, yeah, some more have come forward. You've got to remember, everyone knows the football club is for sale."