JOSH Sarmento has pledged his allegiance to Worcester City days after his agent had hinted at an imminent exit.

The 21-year-old winger today called City’s joint-boss John Snape to signal his intention to remain with the Midland League Premier Division promotion chasers despite approaches from Barwell and Halesowen Town.

A move to either club would represent a two-tier jump for the Portuguese playmaker who signed for Worcester in September.

Sarmento has been free to speak with Barwell since Friday and Snape revealed he had received a call from the player's representative who suggested he could be on his way.

Lines of communication with the man himself had been worryingly silent until Sarmento picked up the phone to deliver the news Snape had been waiting to hear.  

“We have had considerable interest in Josh and approaches but he said he wanted to stay with us,” said Snape.

“The agent has not come back to me since that initial conversation but Josh called me directly and said he had told his representative he did not want to go anywhere.

“He feels he is better off here and will be speaking to his agent to make a final decision but on the back of the lad giving his word we are pretty hopeful.

“I would be disappointed if he decided to leave but he has raised awareness of his capabilities through his performances. People are interested in his services.

“We don’t want to stand in the way of the lad playing higher up the pyramid. His ambition is to play in the Football League but he is just starting to get a decent run in the side after getting over illnesses and will get better with games.

“If he does decide to move on, I hope he realises his dream but I feel he would be better off staying put for the rest of the season.

“At this stage he is still learning his trade. Sometimes players can benefit from having a settled period at one club but at the same time we don’t want to stop him moving on if that’s what he wants.”

Snape revealed he had started talks with two possible recruits but that his decisions could rest on whether or not former Benfica youngster Sarmento stays.

“We are currently talking to a couple of lads that would boost the squad if we can agree terms,” said Snape.

“What happens with that comes down to Josh but we are generally looking to improve things. We will have to wait to see what develops."