Falkirk boss Steven Pressley is still holding out for Farid El Alagui to sign a new contract- but admits it is unlikely the striker will stay.
The 27-goal forward has become a fans’ favourite in his nine month stint with the Bairns, but the man named player of the year at last night’s gala awards runs out of contract after Saturday’s match with Ayr United.
Pressley has been looking around for re-inforcements and a striker is one of four positions he wants to recruit for - but he won’t fill the number nine shirt until it is ‘impossible’ for Farid to stay.
“Of course I would love to keep Farid at the club, and I won’t actively look elsewhere until it is impossible for us to keep him - like when he has signed a contract with another club,” the boss told The Falkirk Herald.
“He has been a terrific signing, but I’ll make no moves until his future is decided.
“I’m not misleading our fans, the likelihood is he will move on, but until he does - the shirt is not available, it’s not one I am rushing to fill until I know of Farid’s future.”
Pressley has been watching prospective players and is known to need a striker, a centre-back and a wide midfielder to fill positions for next season with the likes of El Alagui, Mark Millar and Tam Scobbie running out of contract after Saturday’s game.
It is likely to be an emotional occasion - particularly for Scobbie who is expected to leave after a decade’s association with the club.
“It is going to be an emotional day for me,” admitted Pressley. “Thomas Scobbie has been a massive player for me since I took over as manager, and and epitomises what Falkirk and the Academy is all about.
“He’s come through and played almost 200 games - he hasn’t trained so far this week, and I’m desperately hopeful he will make it.
“But he and the other players who are moving on leave with the greatest respect of their team-mates, the staff and the supporters here. It’ll be disappointing to see them go.
“Mark Millar was one of my first signings and has played at a very high level and Farid has just been a terrific signing.”
The striker will play on Saturday, but as well as Scobbie, Kieran Duffie is a major doubt and David Weatherston is out.
“We will be very young again on Saturday but it’s the way forward for this club.”
Pressley ran the rule over a trialist - recommended by El Alagui - in a 2-2 draw with Dunfermline at Alloa on Tuesday where the Bairns fielded another very young side. The trialist scored, and laid on another, but will return to France today.