Nathan Smith has been in fine form for Port Vale this season, prompting speculation the young defender will leave Vale Park in the summer.
The impressive twenty-three-year-old looks set to become the ninth youngest player in the club’s history to make two hundred appearances when Vale host Crawley on Saturday. The landmark will cap an excellent campaign for Smith who’s made forty-one appearances across all competitions for the League Two outfit and formed a formidable central defensive partnership with skipper Leon Legge.
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinal, Vale boss John Askey stressed the club had made Smith an offer to stay but that it was unlikely he would resolve his future until the summer. While admitting he was bracing himself for interest in one of his prize assets, Askey was still hopeful Smith would put pen to paper on a new deal.
The former Macclesfield boss said: ‘We hope that he will be another one that signs. I think he will leave it until the end of the season but the main thing at the moment is he is playing well. Hopefully, he will get another two hundred appearances for Port Vale.’
Smith turns twenty-four in April, and with his contract set to run out in the summer, he would be able to leave on a free transfer.
Port Vale are currently in eighth, just outside the League Two play-off positions with nine games to play until the end of the season.
After years of decline, Port Vale now looks like a club slowly recovering from years of bad ownership.
After a slow start, Askey looks like he is building something in Burslem, which may tempt Smith to stick around.
However, there are likely to be several clubs from a higher-level keeping tabs on the defender, and his future may depend on whether Vale can offer him League One football next season.