MANAGER Carl Heeley says he does not expect top-scorer Daniel Nti to be a Worcester City player next season.
Nti bagged 16 goals in his debut Conference North campaign after joining from Midland Alliance outfit Loughborough University but is trying to earn a deal at a full-time club.
The 21-year-old striker has had a trial with Conference Premier outfit Nuneaton but has also finished his studies and moved back to his home-town of Milton Keynes.
Nti has been offered a new deal by Worcester, meaning the club would be entitled to compensation because the player is under 24.
Heeley, who has brought in Mike Symons to bolster the strike force, had hoped to keep hold of the player but is resigned to him leaving.
“It’s unlikely he will be back next season,” the City boss said. “I have spoken to Dan and he’s advised me that because he’s finished at Loughborough and moved back to Milton Keynes, to come to Worcester on a part-time basis wasn’t going to be viable combined with looking to play at a higher level.
“It’s disappointing when you give lads a chance. A lot of people looked at Dan but we gave him the chance and we wanted to try to build on that but I always knew if he did move back to Milton Keynes that was going to be an obstacle for us.
“If he gets himself sorted elsewhere we will have to arrange compensation for him.”
Should Nti join a new club, any compensation from a tribunal would be the first time City have received money for a player since Sam Wedgbury was snapped up by Sheffield United for a five-figure fee in January 2006 aged 16.
In recent seasons, City have been unable to claim fees for players as a lack of money has prevented them from offering contracts.
Consequently, captain Tom Thorley left for Hednesford Town for nothing last November after more than three seasons at the club.
Since then, Heeley has been keen to guard against a repeat and, having been granted a degree of financial flexibility by the board, placed several players, including Nti, on contract.
Two of City’s other forward options, Ethan Moore, who scored 12 goals last term, and Aaron Williams are both training with the club and expected to sign in the near future.
Midfielder Ebby Nelson-Addy has not returned for pre-season training and was not offered fresh terms at the end of last season.