SCOTT Burgess has been warned he could miss out on a move to York City if he stalls on a contract offer.

The 21-year-old midfielder was offered a permanent deal by City chief Steve Watson at the end of last season after making 16 appearances and scoring one goal during a loan spell from Bury.

But Watson is also pursuing other targets with “eight or nine” new additions possible and admitted that if he lands a player similar in style to Burgess before hearing back from the former National League title winner then the door might close on a Minstermen switch.

“Burg is from a League club and, whilst he hasn’t featured much for them, the reason why he hasn’t signed straight away for us is probably because he wants to hold out to see if he can get something that bit higher,” Watson reasoned. “If you do that, though, you have to be sure you’re going to play there, because you can easily become an under-23 player somewhere again.

“I’ve also put offers out to players in a half-a-dozen different areas and, if somebody comes back to me who shares the same attributes as Burg and shows a willingness to sign and a little bit more desire to be here, then I won’t hold on forever.”

But the City boss does expect striker Macaulay Langstaff and keeper Ryan Whitley to sign their contract extensions imminently, adding: “Ryan and Macca have pretty much agreed and I expect to get them over the line shortly.”

City are currently without a keeper on the books following Adam Bartlett’s decision to turn down a new deal to pursue a career in sales and play part-time football in the Northern League with Watson respecting that choice.

“When you’re not playing League football, a lot goes into your thought process at Barts’ time of life,” the City manager pointed out. “I would have probably been looking at Barts and Ryan fighting it out for the keeper’s shirt next season, but he has family in the north-east and I understand him looking at a change in direction career wise.”

Bartlett played 70 consecutive games for the Minstermen before 19-year-old Whitley was handed his first senior outings during the final five fixtures of the campaign.

But the former Archbishop Holgate pupil’s performances impressed Watson to the point that, if he does sign, Whitley will be in contention to start the new campaign as first choice, which will be made clear to any new recruit between the sticks.

“The goalkeeping situation is quite a difficult one, because I’ve got a number of keepers in mind, but most of them would want to come in as a guaranteed first choice,” the former Gateshead chief explained. “But Ryan has made such a good case for himself that whoever comes in would have to accept they will have a fight on their hands to start the first game.”

Watson has also responded to criticism of his decisions to hand Joe Tait and Adriano Moke new contracts at the club, adding: “Since February, our form was that of a top-three team and a lot of players were involved in that. I had a long conversation with Paddy (McLaughlin) before he signed and he suggested that he saw Mokes as his ideal midfield partner.

“You look to create partnerships all over the pitch and midfield is no different to two strikers or two centre backs who work well together. With Joe Tait, he had three full games when we got his fitness to what it needed to be and we only conceded one goal in open play and two of those matches were against teams going for the play-offs.

“He’s also good on the ball and, along with Sean Newton, who is an experienced full-back, he could play in a three at the back if we decide to go that way.”