VICE-CAPTAIN Dave Winfield has rejected the offer of a new deal at York City.

Manager Jackie McNamara is now targeting other centre halves as he plans ahead in the expectation that the out-of-contract, 28-year old defender will be moving on.

But the City chief has indicated that Danny Galbraith, Michael Ingham and Callum Rzonca are poised to agree terms to prolong their Bootham Crescent careers and that the club have had two bids turned down for Chorley striker Darren Stephenson.

McNamara is still hopeful, however, that a transfer can be thrashed out for the ex-Bradford City attacker, who plundered 18 goals for the National League North outfit in 2015/16.

Last term’s on-loan Minsterman Lewis Alessandra also remains on the radar.

Winfield’s desire to seek pastures new follows on from midfield pair Russell Penn and Luke Summerfield rejecting fresh terms, with McNamara admitting he is now looking for experienced replacements for the seasoned trio.

He said: “Dave Winfield has rejected his contract offer and is assessing his options. It was the same with Russ Penn and Luke Summerfield so, from our point of view, we have to protect ourselves and make sure we are covered and I am talking to a few defenders.

“We’ve got two centre halves at the moment (Jack Higgins and Ben Clappison), but I’d like to get an experienced one in as well. I think a bit of experience right through the spine of the team will help us and we are working on that.

“With that in mind, we’re looking at a couple of midfielders and a few forwards, so there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes. We’re also going to take a striker and a couple of midfielders on trial to look at in the friendlies.”

The City boss added that he was surprised by skipper Penn’s move to Sky Bet League Two Carlisle, but accepted the reasons behind his decision.

“I didn’t expect Russ to leave because he was making the right noises about staying, but he has a young family to support and I understand players need to do what’s best for them,” McNamara reasoned. “Football is a short career and I’d never criticise them for that.

“Everybody does the same in any walk of life and, even though everyone wants loyalty in football, it’s no different.”

On his continued interest in Jamaican attacker Stephenson, who was also monitored by Hartlepool last season, the Minstermen boss revealed: “He’s somebody we looked at towards the end of last season, but he’s Chorley’s player unfortunately.

“We’ve made a couple of good offers for that level and we’ll have to wait and see what happens, because he would be a good one for us. He’s scored a number of goals, albeit in the division below, but he has pace and can finish.

“We’ve got Richard Brodie in as a target man, but I feel we could do with some pace as well and we’ve not given up on Lewis (Alessandra) either. We’re waiting to see what’s happening with him at Rochdale.”

McNamara stressed that he had received no ‘concrete’ interest as yet in transfer-listed strikers Vadaine Oliver and Jake Hyde, but is hoping to tie up Galbraith, Ingham and Rzonca in the coming days.

“Callum Rzonca and Danny Galbraith will be re-signing,” he declared. “Michael Ingham has also been made his offer and, as far as I believe, he will be re-signing too, but I think he’s away on a coaching course at the moment.”