Chief executive Peter Lawwell insists Celtic will do all they can to keep Shaun Maloney but warned that players cannot be retained "at any cost".
Maloney has yet to agree a new deal at Celtic Park
The 23-year-old midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season.
Lawwell said: "In every walk of life, people who ask their boss for more money do not always get what they want.
"We are are very keen for him to stay and we clearly see him as a part of Celtic's future. But we cannot keep players at any cost."
Celtic opened contract talks with Maloney in February but the Scotland international has subsequently switched agents and is now represented by John Halliwell.
And, if a deal is not struck soon, Maloney, who last season became the first player to be named both Player and Young Player of the Year by his fellow professionals, will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club in January.
Over the last three years at the club we have signed or re-signed 41 players and only lost one - Liam Miller
"The point I was trying to make is that there are two sides to every story and every negotiation," added Lawell.
"We instigated the process in February, Shaun had Mel Stein as his agent at that point and we were getting on well.
"Shaun then changed agents during the process and here we are in October still looking for a deal.
"We are willing and able to talk at any time and let's see how we get on.
"We know what we are doing at the club, over the last three years at the club in my time we have signed or re-signed 41 players and only lost one - Liam Miller.
"There is a process we are going through, but what we do not want to do is get into a position where Shaun feels we are not willing to talk or support him in the process.
"It is a good time to be at Celtic. Financially, we are sound. We have a strong pool of very competitive players playing for the club and, hopefully, Shaun will stay.
"We hope we do not get to the stage where he will leave for nothing in January.
"You cannot measure how close we are to a deal but, hopefully, he will be here."