FALKIRK have offered Craig Sibbald a new deal and have not given up hope of convincing the midfielder to stay beyond this season.
But assistant-manager James McDonaugh admits it could be time for the 21-year-old to leave the Bairns behind.
Sibbald is out of contract at the end of the season and has been tracked by a number of clubs both north and south of the border since making his first-team debut aged just 16 in 2011.
One report has even linked the youngster, who has now played over 200 times for Falkirk, with interest from Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts, as well as Nottingham Forest in England.
The Bairns have protected their right to a development fee of a possible £240,000 by tabling fresh terms to Sibbald but McDonaugh is adamant they would hang on to the player in an ideal world.
He said: “The club have offered Craig a contract.
“It’s one of those ones where we want him to stay but you have to appreciate what he has given the club and what he wants for his own future.
“We’re a club that tries to do the right thing for everybody. We try to put the best team we can on the pitch for the fans but you also can’t stand in a player’s way if they are to progress. We’ve shown that.
“With the money that’s in the game nowadays it’s hard to stop players going and doubling or tripling their wages elsewhere, especially if the club also stand to benefit.
“The disappointing thing for clubs is when they build a player up and then lose them for nothing but that’s not the case here.
“He’ll be desperate to prove himself at another level, although he is a Falkirk boy and we’d be delighted if he plays here next season.
“It’s for Craig to decide but he’s contracted here and if he does move then we’ll get a decent amount of money for the time and effort that’s gone into his development.”