Keith Lasley is confident Allan Campbell will remain a Motherwell player next week and the Fir Park assistant manager retains hope the midfielder will stay for the longer term.
Aberdeen and Hibernian have been credited with interest in the 22-year-old after his impressive start to the season.
Dons boss Derek McInnes heaped praise on Campbell after Motherwell’s recent 3-0 win at Pittodrie but, as Hibs head coach Jack Ross said, there will be an “awful lot of attention” in the player.
Motherwell would be due compensation if Campbell lets his contract run out at the end of the season and, having already played more than 130 first-team matches plus 21 Scotland Under-21 games, it would take a major offer to persuade them to sell early.
Lasley said: “You’ve heard everybody at the club wax lyrical about Allan and rightly so, he’s a fantastic young player and it’s what we do at this football club, try and promote our own talent and when the time’s right, they maybe move on.
“But we are in talks with Allan, we’d love him to stay but if that time comes when he does move on, then so be it, hopefully it will be right for the player and the club. But first and foremost we want Allan in a Motherwell jersey for as long as we can and we are still talking to the player.”
When asked if he was confident Campbell would still be at Fir Park next week, Lasley said: “As a coach and someone who loves having him at the club, I’m hopeful. I know Allan is loving his football, he loves the club, he loves pulling on that jersey and playing for the club.”
“As always in football, at any club if you’ve got an asset and a big offer comes in, that the club can’t turn down, as we saw with David, then it does happen. But we are first focused on Allan playing for Motherwell in the short term and, who knows hopefully that can be in the long term as well, but that’s probably out of our control to some extent.
“What will stand Allan in good stead is the amount of games he has already played at such a young age, both for his club and Scotland Under-21s.
“To play 150 games at that age is only going to help him further down the line. You saw that with guys like John McGinn, playing a lot of games toughens them up both physically and in a mental sense, to then be able to take that challenge on and the pressures of playing for a bigger club.
“I have absolutely no doubt when the time is right that Allan will make that move and handle that move. From a Motherwell perspective and my own perspective, I am desperate to see him pull on the claret and amber for as long as possible.”
Motherwell take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Friday night having had four days between games following a four-game run in 10 days.
“It was a hectic schedule for us,” Lasley said. “We have not got the biggest squad in the world. Going to Israel and back is asking a lot of the players both physically and mentally.
“It’s been good to get that extra day rest and the international break will give us the chance to rest the ones that need it and maybe top up the other boys.
“A big effort on Friday and then we assess the squad in terms of who needs what.”
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