Leeds United need to do all they can to keep Sam Byram, to give themselves the best chance of keeping Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt.
Another week has passed without Sam Byram signing a new contract at Leeds, and the stalemate continues to edge him closer to the exit door.
The Yorkshire Evening Post reported last week that Byram had been handed a contract ultimatum by Leeds, a final offer, and if he did not sign, then the club will make him available in January, so they do not lose him on a free in the summer.
Last season Byram was a key player for the club, but this time around he has lost form and is seen as expendable after losing his place in the starting XI.
Yet to give up on him is taking a short-term view, despite hopes that Lewie Coyle could step up and replace him in the squad from the under-21 side.
They need to keep him or else it will only help show fellow academy graduates Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt that there is more to life than Leeds United.
Currently in 17th in the Championship, it's easy to see why Byram would from a career standpoint fancy a crack at the Premier League.
If they let Byram leave, and then pals Cook and Mowatt watch him playing well and getting opportunities in the top flight, they also will start considering their own options.
Both have contracts which expire in 2017, and Leeds need to be looking at renewing these, or in 12 months time the club will be in the same position they are with Byram right now.
Leeds' current offer to Byram was reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post to only match his current wages, and extend just to 2017.
This is no way to deal with the situation, as it just kicks it down the kerb for another year. If Leeds are serious about keeping him then they should return with an improved offer, but the fear is that they have already backed themselves into a corner.
Lose Byram now, and there is a real possibility Cook and Mowatt follow. Keep the defender, and watch his form improve, and it become a lot easier to hang onto their midfielders, the heartbeat of their hopes for the future.