Dundee have held talks with Greg Stewart about extending his Dens Park deal.
The Dark Blues forward has one year left on his contract and speculation has linked Stewart with a move elsewhere, including to boyhood heroes Rangers.
But manager Paul Hartley has confirmed Dundee have begun conversations with Stewart’s representatives and hope to tie him down to a more long-term deal.
The gaffer said: “The big thing with Greg is that he only has a year left.
“We have started early talks with him. He is a player we desperately want to keep.”
Clubs south of the border, including a trio from the English Championship, have shown an interest in signing the creative striker.
And interest is not likely to end there, with Rangers believed to be readying a bid ahead of what will be a busy summer at Ibrox.
As a result, Paul accepts it won’t be easy to hang on to Stewart.
However, is hopeful the fact he is valued by the club and its fans will help him make his decision.
“The lad has ambitions,” said the manager.
“But he knows he’s loved at Dundee. We give him that wee bit of freedom to go and play his game.
“He can express himself alongside (Kane) Hemmings, (Gary) Harkins and (Craig) Wighton.”
Meanwhile, Paul was delighted by his players performance in the 2-1 win over Partick at the weekend, a place where they have won three times this season.
He said the character shown from within the dressing-room was exemplary, despite only 13 fit outfield players being available. He said: “We had 15 players available to pick on Saturday, so to get a result was positive.
“We have a good record against them.
“I think that is seven unbeaten, so you could say we have a bit of an Indian sign over them.
“The first half was terrific. Some of the combination play and passing was brilliant.
“For 20 minutes they came into the game in the second half but we showed good spirit and determination to come through.
“The players showed great character to get the win ahead of what will be a big week ahead of a big game against Dundee United next Monday.”