Tottenham remain confident they can secure the services of captain and England international Ledley King on an improved contract even though the player has rejected their latest offer.
Talks between the two parties over an extension to his present deal remain ongoing after King turned down an increase in wages, thought to be in the region of around £35,000-a-week.
Liverpool have been regularly linked with a move for the Spurs captain, who has been inspirational in defence this season despite carrying a persistent and painful groin injury.
Spurs still have time on their side, though, with King contracted to the club for another two years but they are desperate to prevent a repeat of the Sol Campbell affair.
The England defender quit the club to join arch-rivals Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 2001 after the club failed to reach an agreement on a new contract.
Arsenal are also thought to be watching King's situation at White Hart Lane but Spurs cannot afford to let the 25-year-old walk out for nothing as Campbell's replacement at Highbury.
'The talks are still on-going with the chairman,' said executive director Paul Barber.
'Ledley still has two and a half yearsleft on his current contract so we still have a bit of time.
'But he is our club captain, a great player and we want to keep our best players at the club.'
King was disappointed with the late equaliser at Sunderland that cost Spurs the chance to move further ahead of their north London rivals in the race to qualify for the Champions League this season.
'When you go 1-0 up and don't make too many chances you look to get a 1-0 victory and go home,' he said.
'We're all disappointed we didn't do that but we have got to pick ourselves up.'
Spurs now face Wigan on Sunday in a re-arranged Premiership clash at White Hart Lane.