Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson was effusive in his praise of star man David Turnbull following the 3-2 win over Livingston before admitting it could be a struggle to keep him at Fir Park next season.
The 19-year-old midfielder has enjoyed a stunning breakthrough season that culminated in him picking up the Scottish Football Writers’ young player of the year award.
Numerous clubs both north and south of the border have been linked with a summer move but Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows insisted Turnbull would only leave for a club record fee.
That record has stood for 25 years since Phil O’Donnell joined Celtic for £1.75 million but Robinson conceded the club would not stand in his way if the right offer comes in.
Robinson said: “We are a club that sells player, we can make no bones about it so if a club comes in with the right offer then we aren’t going to stand in David’s way.
“Somebody is going to have to pay a lot of money for him. He’s a sensible boy and he knows that playing football is the best thing for his development at the moment.
“Lots of people have been speaking to me about him but it will have to be an excellent offer. Credit to him because he’s developed ever so well.
“I said to him today to go and show people how well you can press the ball because we know how good you are on it. Him and Alan Campbell did that very well but we will enjoy him whilst he is here.
“This is the right place for him to develop and he’s a massive part of what we will plan to do next season. If a big Premiership or Championship club come in we will look at that because that’s the level he can play,” added Robinson.
Turnbull was the star attraction in a crazy game which provided five goals, three penalties, and a late comeback.
Liam Donnelly headed the opener from Turnbull’s free-kick before the latter grabbed his first of the afternoon after 22 minutes following a clever corner routine.
Turnbull smashed home his 15th league goal of the season from the penalty spot before referee David Munro awarded two more penalties in the space of a minute.
Ryan Hardie spurned Livingston’s chance from the spot before Ross Stewart denied Turnbull’s hat-trick with a clever low save.
Livingston showed the fighting spirit that has typified their season when Scott Tiffoney scored two goals in the final 10 minutes.
Despite the result, Gary Holt was full of praise for his players’ achievements this season.
He said: “I’m delighted for everybody associated with the football club.
“The last four or five games haven’t been ideal but when you’re already safe there is going to be a little lull.
“The season is something we can be incredibly proud of and we will look to build for next year.”
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