Barry Bannan has been offered a new two-year deal by Sheffield Wednesday but is reluctant to sign unless boss Tony Pulis is backed in the transfer market.
Creative Scottish midfielder Bannan is a talisman at Hillsborough after 12 goals and 33 assists for the club in 214 Championship games.
But fans’ favourite Bannan, 31, who joined from Crystal Palace in 2015, is out of contract next summer and a free agent.
He is willing to stay but wants bottom club Wednesday to show some ambition in January.
The club have struggled for goals this term after Steven Fletcher went to Stoke where he has notched four times already.
While ex-Owl Lucas Joao continues to flourish with 14 goals for Reading this season after leaving in August 2019.
New Wednesday boss Pulis has never been relegated before and wants to invest next month.
Pulis said: “The transfer window over January is going to be massive for this football club.
“If you look at the depth of that squad there’s players that we need to improve the first team and the whole group.
“We need that person in the team who’s going to do something and open the door.”
Pulis, 62, has drawn both his home games so far and is preparing his side to host Barnsley in a Yorkshire derby on Saturday.
Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri owns the club but is reluctant to pump in fresh funds.
Wednesday got into trouble with the EFL after the club sold its Hillsborough home to Chansiri for £60million enabling them to post a £2.5m pre-tax profit in the accounts for the 2017-18 financial year.
The club were docked six points on appeal as they otherwise would have reported a pre-tax loss of £35.4m, following on from deficits of £9.8m and £20.8m in the previous two seasons.
Championship clubs are only allowed to lose £39m over a three-year period.