Nicky Law admits he and his Rotherham United team-mates are desperate for goal machine Adam Le Fondre to pin his colours to the Millers mast – to ward off prospective buyers this January.
Top gun Le Fondre has carried on from where he left off on the goalscoring stakes in 2009-10 and is well placed to eclipse last year's sensational tally of 30 goals with around half of the season to go.
Goals pay the rent and the 24-year-old sharp-shooter had shelved out repeated instalments since arriving from Rochdale for a six-figure fee in August 2009, with his prolific tally this campaign including a stunning four-goal haul in the 6-4 home win over Cheltenham Town on August 21 – and ahead of the Don Valley Stadium clash with Port Vale, he had only failed to find the net in three League Two matches on home soil so far this term.
Le Fondre's Millers deal doesn't run out until the summer of 2012, but given his sensational goalscoring exploits, a renegotiation of terms was always going to be high on the agenda of boss Ronnie Moore and the United board, who have been speaking with their star turn for several months.
And January promises to be a twitchy time for Millers fans, with several clubs rumoured to be circling following Le Fondre's deadly statistics since heading across the Pennines.
While the Millers resolve hasn't been tested with a concrete bid as yet, the smart money is on someone firming up a move for a player regarded as one of the, if not the, hot property in the lower leagues.
Yorkshire duo Leeds United and Sheffield United have been linked with the hitman already this winter, although summer rumours of interest from fellow Championship duo Derby County and Leicester City were rebuffed by Le Fondre's agent.
The summer transfer deadline actually passed with just one move for Le Fondre, with Plymouth Argyle offering former Barnsley striker Rory Fallon in part exchange – with the derisory bid quickly dismissed by boss Moore as a "joke", while being instantly rejected by chairman Tony Stewart.
Midfielder Law, who has loaded the goalscoring gun on several occasions this season already for Le Fondre – known by all and sundry as Alfie – said: "We'd love him to stay, definitely.
"Obviously, he's in talks regarding a new deal and the club are looking to tie him up to a new one.
"Him signing would be a boost and it would be nice to keep hold of him.
"We know he's our main threat in front of goal. You know if he gets two or three chances, he's going to score at least one of them.
"It's important we give Alfie as many chances as we can, as he will always get us goals."
Law himself has been subject of interest from higher division clubs in the past, most notably Blackpool, while Middlesbrough were also credited with an interest early last season.
But the attacking midfielder is solely concentrating with business in the red and white of the Millers, with his half-term report on his seasonal progress a positive one, safe for a minor dip a few months ago.
Law said: "I'm really enjoying it this season. I had a bit of blip at the end of autumn, but who doesn't have a blip in the season – and the best teams in the world do.
"But I'm pleased overall, I've 11 or 12 assists already and that has beaten what I got in the whole of last season. So I feel I'm doing quite well and just want to keep that going and as a team, we need to
push on again."
While a flurry of festive postponements have checked the Millers momentum a little, with four League Two games following victim to the weather in a snowy and freezing December, Moore's troops remain on schedule in their hope of escaping football's basement at the fourth time of asking and living up to their reputation as pre-season promotion favourites – while hoping to avoid the dreaded play-offs.
By common consent, a litany of draws at Don Valley Stadium – often against lesser lights in the division – probably proved the difference between clinching an automatic promotion place and descent into the end-of-season lottery last term, with everyone associated with the club mindful of not making the same mistakes at the second time of asking.
Millers players don't need to be told twice of its importance, which has been heightened by disappointing home draws against the likes of Burton Albion, Stevenage, Macclesfield Town and Northampton Town, not to mention Tyke rivals Bradford City already this term, with away form having taken care of itself with Moore's side having seen their colours lowered on two occasions – at Shrewsbury Town and Southend United.
Big defender Nick Fenton said: "Home form is a key for us and it's happened again this year, with getting a lot of draws at home. We need to change them into wins.
"There's nothing psychological about it and the lads don't have a fear of playing at Don Valley. The pitch is absolutely fantastic this year, which is a big difference from last year.
"It's something we've got to put right; we dominate most games at home, but we just need to create the chances because we know if we give them to Alfie, he's going to score.
"If we do that and keep it tight at the back, things will improve."