Yanks won't keep Jeter 'at any cost'
Speaking on ESPN Radio 1050, Steinbrenner said, "You just never know with these things. Both parties need to be happy with the deal — that's absolutely going to happen — and that may make things more complicated, I don't know.
"There's always the possibility that things could get messy," he added.
Jeter became a free agent for the first time when the World Series ended Monday night.
He is expected to re-sign with the Yankees, but the sides — who have already been in contact — could disagree on several things, including annual salary, length of contract and a possible position change for the 36-year-old shortstop.
Jeter batted .270 this season, 44 points lower than his career average.
Steinbrenner said: "We absolutely want him back," but would not commit to keeping the Yankees icon in pinstripes at any cost.