Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has given Nathaniel Clyne until the end of the season to decide whether or not he wants to stay at the club.
Clyne, 24, remains heavily linked with a move to Manchester United and recently indicated he is keen to join a club competing in the Champions League next season in order to take the "next step" in his career.
The England international's current contract at St Mary's expires in the summer of 2016 and there is little indication of the full-back agreeing to a new deal.
And while Koeman insists there has been no formal offer for the former Crystal Palace starlet, he admits it will be difficult to hold on to the player.
"It is up to the press how they take those kind of comments," Koeman said of Clyne's recent interview. "I like to play Champions League as well but that is the aspiration for every football player and it is a normal aspiration. If you don't mention that, there is something wrong.
"We are still talking with the agent of Clyney, but it's difficult. I read in the press there is some interest. Nobody knocked on the door with an offer for Clyne, but we know [he has] one season on his contract and we want Clyne to stay at the club. We need understanding for that but nothing else.
"We hope one day we will compare to the big ones, but that is difficult. We know our level, we know our possibilities. The club can't fight against big teams in the Premier League because the money and the possibilities of them are still much higher than we have."
Southampton have been in talks with Clyne throughout the season but are yet to reach any sort of breakthrough. The right-back will be able to leave the south coast club for nothing in the summer of 2016 and Koeman is keen for a resolution to be met sooner rather than later.
"We don't wait until the end of the season because you know if there is a player who is left one season of his contract then you have to do something," he said.
"Of course we have to do everything to keep the player in the team, but I like to know it as soon as possible - not in the last week of the season, but earlier on.
"I mentioned April but by the end of April, the first week of May, it's good to know something about his situation."