HOUSTY: I’D TAKE HIT ON SIBBS

Craig Sibbald is out of contract this summer. Picture Michael Gillen.
Craig Sibbald is out of contract this summer. Picture Michael Gillen.
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Peter Houston says he’ll take the cash loss from losing Craig Sibbald for nothing – if he can keep him at Falkirk longer.

Sibbald is out of contract at the end of this season and can speak to other clubs – but would require a £240,000 development fee to Falkirk for any switch.

The Bairns have offered to hang onto their talisman – who scored another header against Hibs on Saturday – but he’s yet to sign the deal.

And Houston hopes Sibbald stays, even though it risks the club losing him for nothing once he outgrows his development compensation.

Swedish club Ostersunds have been linked for a second time – this time in national press – as being admirers of the 21-year-old, who has now played for the Bairns more than 230 times.

Scots boss Billy Reid is assistant at the Jamtkraft Arena, but closer to home Houston is in the dark on any prospective move, and hopes to keep the midfielder.

He said: “Sibbs can go if he doesn’t sign our offer and people pay the compensation. Not a lot of teams in Scotland can afford it or perhaps would be willing to pay it. If there’s a Swedish club, or an English club, maybe there might be – I don’t know.

“What I do know is he has to test himself at some point – I’d rather that was after another year here and then we let him go for nothing next year.

“But I’m a manager – not the finance man at the football club. But I understand if there’s a club who wants to pay what we’re due, I’ll shake his hand and say good luck.

“He’s an experienced Championship player now, who has high hopes of going to a higher level and he has to show that regularly. I think he is capable of it, other people need to think that too.

“But teams would have to pay the compensation.”

Sibbald scored with a header on Saturday – his third goal against Hibernian this season and matched his target for the season, taking him level on goals with striker John Baird for the 2016-17 season.

“Ten in the league says a lot for Sibby this season, because we’ve always encouraged him to get goals. He took the initiative to go to the front post and score – he should have been at the edge of the box. His form has been good this season.”