Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough has pleaded with Leeds United target Lee Erwin to stay at Fir Park for another year.
Baraclough said the prospect of Erwin leaving for Elland Road was “disappointing” and claimed the striker could get a “better move” by remaining with Motherwell next season.
Erwin, 21, is out of contract this summer and Leeds are confident of signing him on a three-year deal when he returns from a holiday in America later this month.
United owner Massimo Cellino has spoken repeatedly with Erwin’s representatives and Leeds are ready to pay a six-figure sum in compensation.
Motherwell are entitled to a fee on account of Erwin’s age but they have offered the Scotland youth international a new contract in an attempt to prevent his departure.
Erwin has just reached the end of his first full season in the Scottish Premiership, a term in which he scored six goals.
Baraclough told the Daily Mail: “It hasn’t been confirmed to me that Lee is going to Leeds but the reports are very strong and, for me, that would be disappointing.
“He’s just starting to find his feet with regular first-team football. I can give him that chance in a great, competitive league. And I believe Lee could get a better move if he stayed for another six months or a year and played for our first team.
“He has plenty of time on his hands. He’s playing for fans that love him, in front of a manager and coaching staff and with players who appreciate what he’s done. I’d like him to stay a little bit longer.”
Baraclough added: “I’m sure like any young player he likes the trappings of being a footballer.
“I’ve spoken to his father on a couple of occasions and I know Lee has a sensible family. I think if he knuckles down and is dealt with in the right way, and keeps developing, he can go and play for his country.
“He can play for Scotland, without doubt.”