ALEX Whittle has turned down a move to National League Aldershot and now wants to stay at York City next season.

The 24-year-old left back, who still has a year to run on his Bootham Crescent contract, asked to be placed on the transfer list after the Minstermen were relegated to National League North last term.

Long-throw specialist Sam Muggleton was preferred to Whittle in the vital final-day National League home clash with Forest Green and the latter was also left out of the FA Trophy final squad for the 3-2 victory over Macclesfield at Wembley, despite only skipper Simon Heslop making more appearances during the season.

But Whittle did start the 4-1 victory at Farsley Celtic during last weekend’s first pre-season friendly and has now signalled his intention to carry on playing for City in 2017/18.

“Aldershot want to take him, but he’s knocked on my door and says he wants to stay here,” City chief Gary Mills revealed. “The back end of last season is now all water under the bridge.

“He’s said he’s enjoying his football and has loved the last week-and-a-half back here. The opportunity is there for him now and I want him to stay, so the chances are that will happen now.”

Whittle is the latest member of the current squad to reject a move to a higher-division team this summer and Mills added that was testament to the pulling power of a club that has sold more than 1,400 season tickets in the sixth tier of the English game.

“It’s magnificent when players do that,” the City manager enthused. “It goes to show what this club is and they’re showing they also want to play for myself and Cask (football consultant Darren Caskey) every day.”

Whittle’s fellow left-back Ben Barber, meanwhile, is now understood to have left City by mutual consent, leaving just Kaine Felix, Ben Clappison and Luke Simpson on the transfer list.

City boss Mills stressed, meanwhile, that should ex-Watford keeper Simpson move on, he would not look outside of the club for an understudy to first-choice shot-stopper Jon Worsnop, with youth-team net-minder Ryan Whitley lined up to fulfil that role.

“We’ve got young Ryan, who is doing really well, so I’d be happy to go with Jon and Ryan - that wouldn’t be an issue,” Mills explained.

Following the departure of goalkeeper-coach Craig Hinchliffe, there are no plans to fill that vacancy either, with Mills pointing out: “We won’t be going with a goalkeeper coach this season.

“Jon is experienced and enjoys that side of the game anyway. He’s a fitness fanatic, disciplined and likes to do things right, so he’s the right person to mentor Ryan too.”

Mills went on to suggest that winger Felix’s situation at the club could change after his goalscoring display at Farsley.

“Kaine’s attitude has always been good,” he said. “I just felt we needed something more last season, but he went away on loan to Stockport and, whilst it’s still early days and I need to see a lot more of him, he’s set off really well in pre-season with plenty of endeavour and hard work.”