Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell has told the club’s official that he never contemplated leaving midfielder Ryan Wintle out of his team for the final six months of his contract.
The former Alsager Town midfielder, who has made 186 appearances for the club, has positioned himself to become a free agent this summer after electing not to sign a long standing contract extension.
The 24-year-old from Staffordshire is now likely to leave on a free transfer with a number of Championship clubs said to be interested in signing him.
Artell explained to the club’s official website: “I could have left Ryan out for the last few months of the season because he was going out of contract but I never contemplated doing that.
“I don’t think it is the right thing to do and it is not morally right. It is just the way I feel about it and Ryan always acted in a professional manner and gave his all.
“Players are entitled to run their contracts down but Ryan joined us later from Alsager and his position is a little different to the ones we have helped developed for over 15, 16 years.
“We have our business model and we just hope that our own home grown players understand where we are coming from after the investment we have made in their development.
The boss concluded: "As I’ve said it can be disappointing if their agents do not trust us and what we do after the player has been here since the age of six, but it is what it is.”