Nathaniel Clyne could yet commit his future to Southampton after director of football Les Reed insisted that negotiations involving the Manchester United target are progressing well with a resolution to his protracted contract saga expected to arrive soon.
The right-back, who has recently established himself as first-choice in his preferred position for England ahead of the likes of Glen Johnson, Calum Chambers and Kyle Walker, has impressed hugely at St Mary's since arriving from Crystal Palace in July 2012 and is widely regarded as one of the Saints' key performers under Ronald Koeman.
Clyne's consistent form over 39 appearances for Southampton this season has helped to attract the attention of both United and Premier League champions Chelsea, two reputable clubs that could appeal to the 24-year-old with his current deal due to expire during the summer of 2016.
With talks over a possible extension progressing slowly, in April Koeman gave the player 10 days to come to a decision over his future.
And while that risky ultimatum does not yet appear to have yielded a significant result, Reed is evidently positive over Clyne's future in the aftermath of coveted striker Jay Rodriguez's commitment to remain on the south coast for another four years following a lengthy spell on the sidelines thanks to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
"With Clyney it's very much been the same as with Jay in that we've been talking for quite a while," he told Southampton's official website. "It gets fed by speculation which doesn't help.
"Ronald [Koeman] made a comment that there was a deadline but that deadline was more about getting a response, and that issue has been resolved. I'm in discussions with his agent and that has been very positive. Nathaniel has made statements that he's happy here.
"There's bound to be speculation because he's such a good player and has had such a good season. We have to balance that against what he can do for us in the future and what we can do for him.
"We're at a very good place at the moment in terms of the discussions going on and I'm confident that we will have a resolution to that sooner rather than later."
Following a 2-0 defeat to in-form Leicester at the King Power Stadium, Southampton are now without a win in five games and currently occupy seventh place in the Premier League.
Koeman's side host Tim Sherwood and Aston Villa on 16 May before finishing 2014/15 with a difficult trip to Manchester City.
Rodriguez will hope to play some part in those fixtures having last played for the club in a match against City at the Etihad Stadium in April 2014. He lasted just 28 minutes that day and had to be stretchered off after damaging his right knee.