"Talks aren't too far along, we are just at the initial stage," revealed Paatelainen. "He still has one season after this one remaining.
"We would like to work with Conor longer, he is a player who works very hard and does good things on the pitch.
"I feel there is lots more development in Conor so hopefully we can sort out the contract and keep working."
The 24 year old Irishman has been a revelation this season, with 14 goals to his name already.
"Conor is a player who has benefited from Alexei's passing ability," added Paatelainen. "He is the player who has put the ball in the net and I'm sure he is pleased with his month.
"But it's a team effort - it's not just Alexei and Conor. The other players are making an effort to get on the ball and they're helping those two play well. It is a team effort."