Falkirk manager Peter Houston insists highly-rated left back Tony Gallacher would learn more playing in the Championship rather than making up the numbers in an English youth academy.
The 17-year-old made his second appearance for the Bairns in last weekend’s defeat to Dumbarton and is in line to start in this afternoon’s Boxing Day derby at rivals Dunfermline.
Houston has already been inundated with phone calls from suitors enquiring about the teenager and is well aware that interest will grow with every first team game he plays.
Manchester United have been linked with the defender but Houston insists the player should take a leaf out of Swansea pair Stephen Kingsley and Jay Fulton’s book by earning valuable experience with Falkirk.
Houston said: “We know the talent he is. He’s only going to get better with the more first team games he plays and then it’s only a question of how long we can keep him.
“I’ve had phone calls from people around all sorts of clubs asking about Tony.
“Word of mouth gets about and scouts swarm. People ask what it would take to get him but I tell them to put in a bid and we’ll see.
“We’ll always need to be a selling club but we’re in a good position so it has to be an offer that is too good to turn down.
“I really don’t think it’s time for him to go down. Like Stephen Kingsley and Jay Fulton – who are actually playing in the English Premier League – he should get 40,50 games under his belt.
“Then he could push on and not be lost.
“You don’t want Tony to go down to a big club and just make up the numbers.
“He’s better than that. He’s better than Under-23 players.
“I think he’s ready to play Championship football in Scotland at a level where points mean something.
“It would bring him on more than some of the sterile development games I see.
“I’d never hold him back from better things. I always say that if someone’s ambition is just to play for Falkirk then they are no use to me. He has a bright future.”