BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Peter Houston has urged Luke Leahy to remain at Falkirk for another season after the defender stalled on the offer of a new deal.
The Bairns have tabled fresh terms for the Englishman, whose current contract expires at the end of the season, but he has asked for time to mull over the offer.
The 23-year-old joined Falkirk in 2012 after an apprenticeship with the Strachan Football Foundation that was set up by Scotland manager Gordon and son Gavin in 2011.
And, having been converted from an attacking midfielder to a left-back by Houston last season, the Falkirk boss believes the Coventry-born player would benefit from another year with the Bairns, even if it means ignoring better money south of the border.
Houston said: “We have made Luke an offer which he will decide upon in January.
“Naturally, the boy is from England and the boy’s agent will think he can get him more money down there.
“But I’ll have a word with Luke in January because, if I am being honest, he is a new left-back, he wasn’t one until I came here, and it wouldn’t do him any harm to stay another here at least.
“That’s not my decision. That’s a conversation he and I will have once he decides what he is going to do.
“He has not knocked back a contract, he has just asked to have until January to decide.
“There are always agents who can move players elsewhere for bigger money. If they can, then great. I would never stop anyone from doubling their wages elsewhere.
“But, from a career point of view, I’ll tell him I think, because he is fairly new to the position and I see things he needs to improve on, it wouldn’t do him harm to stay another year.”
Houston has confessed he has already made ‘a couple of enquiries’ for players he hopes to sign in the January transfer window, and is confident of being given funds to strengthen his squad in the New Year.
However, with John Baird and Aaron Muirhead set to earn new contracts due to the number of games they have played, the Bairns boss is also set to offer midfielder Mark Kerr a fresh agreement.
He added: “I’ll have a blether with Mark. If he keeps maintaining what he is doing, the likelihood is I’ll be speaking to him as well to renegotiate and try and keep a hold of him. He’s been good.”