The Wellington Phoenix have spoken to coach Ufuk Talay about extending his contract beyond the end of next season.
Talay's initial reaction is to say he has an "open mind" and that a contract extension is "definitely a possibility".
That seeming reticence has more to do with wanting to "finish off this season" and an awareness of the fickle nature of football management, than a desire to follow in predecessor Mark Rudan's footsteps and quit the club for a better offer after just one year.
So, relax, Phoenix fans — Talay insists he will see out his contract which runs to the end of the 2020-21 season.
"I've got another year on my contract in Wellington and my focus is to finish off this season," Talay told the Herald on Sunday.
"The main thing is to finish the season well and then build on what we've done and get the team ready for the season after.
"I've had discussions with [chairman] Rob [Morrison] and it's very flattering they want to keep me here for not just the season coming up, but the seasons beyond that.
"It's just been a general chat; we haven't really sat down and talked about what it actually looks like ... and what it looks like for the club.
"I'm very happy here at the moment and we will sit down and have that chat. They are discussions we need to have.
"There has to be ambition and drive and some sort of goal that I am looking at myself, and also the club. You want to be successful, and as a coach, you want to be challenged everywhere you go.
"We want to be better than we were. If this season, our goal is top six, then next season, it's can we push even harder, can we go for the top four, or top two, or Premiers plate?"
The 43-year-old is aware how quickly fortunes can change in football, so is cautious about discussing the 2021-22 season.
"For me, that's too far ahead because football is a funny game and things change quickly. I want to build something here where there are great foundations, and whether I am here for next season or the next four seasons, the [new] guy that comes in goes 'great, look at what we've got here' and continues the work that has been put in."
It's no surprise Talay is in demand, nor that extending his tenure has become the club's No 1 priority.
Talay has overseen a remarkable transformation since arriving at the Phoenix last June.
Rudan restored the credibility of the team and pride within the franchise last season but departed halfway through his two-year contract, taking some of Wellington's best players with him to new club Western United.
Talay had to rebuild the Phoenix almost from scratch — there were only seven players signed when he arrived — and has done it spectacularly. After a shaky start, dropping their first four games, the team has lost only two of their past 12.
They are unbeaten at home since the end of October and have been in the top four since early January. And it's been achieved with a style and swagger probably unequalled in the club's 13-year history.
Phoenix chief executive David Dome confirmed the club's intentions towards Talay.
"He is highly regarded by the board and players, so you're ticking a lot of boxes already," Dome told the Herald on Sunday. "From my discussions with Uffie, he likes it here, likes living in Wellington, and he can see the ambition of the club."
The Phoenix can consolidate a place in the A-League's top four with a win tonight over a Central Coast Mariners side that has lost their last seven games. A top-four finish earns clubs home advantage in the first round of the top-six playoffs.
The Phoenix haven't played for two weeks — after their round 21 clash with Sydney was postponed — but should still have too many guns for the Gosford-based team.