Livingston manager Davie Martindale has confirmed that he is hopeful of signing Queen of the South midfielder Ayo Obileye on a pre-contract.
The Lions have tabled an offer to the 26-year-old and are now waiting to discover if they have been successful in their pursuit, with Obileye not short of options.
The potential arrival of Obileye would add more physical presence to the midfield and Martindale also believes that the former Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton youngster can be a long-term successor to Marvin Bartley.
Martindale, whose team host Raith Rovers in tomorrow’s Scottish Cup third round clash, said: “Ayo is a player I have been speaking to.
“I was hoping to get something sorted this week but he is someone we are interested in.
“We are continuing to speak to him but there are other clubs interested.
“I think we have a good chance of getting him, but others will think the same.
“I spoke to Ayo and I like what I hear from him.
“Finances always kill me because if we are in for a player then someone can offer them more money.
“It takes a tough player to turn down an offer of more money elsewhere.
“I am confident I have made the best pitch I can to him and we got on well but nothing surprises me in football.
“He can play in a number of positions but I see him as a defensive midfielder. He is tall and aggressive in both boxes.
“People talk about us being physical but I don’t think we have been this season.”
At 34-year-old, Bartley, who is also the club’s reserve boss, is gradually turning his attention to coaching and Martindale believes the versatile Obileye can eventually replace the midfielder
He added: “Marvin isn’t getting any younger. He has been brilliant for me and I hope he will be brilliant next season.
“If I can get Ayo then a year playing with Marvin and being around him will benefit someone coming in, who in the future could take his place.
“Marvin will have opportunities here, whether that is coaching or playing, I think it is important to get players in alongside good senior pros who play in their position.
“I think we could play Ayo and Marvin together, or he can play in defence as well if we can bring him in.”