Port Vale boss John Askey says the club has opened talks with captain Leon Legge about extending his contract.
The 34 year old centre half, who is due to be a free agent in the summer, has been a key player for the Vale this season, starting every one of the club’s 36 league games so far.
He’s also formed a hugely effective partnership with Nathan Smith in central defence, as well as playing well alongside Shaun Brisley when Smith was missing through injury.
Asked about Legge’s contract, the manager said: “I have spoken to Leon and his agent. Things have gone quite well so hopefully he will be another one that we can cross off for next season.”
The news comes in the week when James Gibbons revealed he is set to sign a new deal. Midfielders Dave Worrall and Scott Burgess have already signed new contracts since the turn of the year.
Askey added: “When you are doing well there is more chance that people will want to stay. But on the other side of it, when you are doing well then the players are doing well and other clubs are interested.
“But I think it’s always an advantage if people are happy at the football club.”
Meanwhile, left back Cristian Montano and striker Mark Cullen face fitness tests before this weekend’s game at Cheltenham. Montano has a back problem and Cullen suffered a thigh strain in last week’s 2-2 draw at home to Scunthorpe.
Speaking at his Friday morning press conference, the manager added: “I think there is more chance with Monty than Mark but neither are ruled out yet.”
Askey does have options. Tom Pope could return to the central striking role in Vale’s 4-3-3 while Mitch Clark is available to play at left back if Montano misses out.
Pope scored a hat-trick in Vale’s 3-1 FA Cup win at Cheltenham in November.
The manager added: “The majority of the squad are fit which, at this time of the season, is always nice. So, we have cover in all positions. As we have found throughout the season, players who have come in have done well.”
Seventh-placed Vale are unbeaten in seven, but face a fifth-placed Cheltenham side who have won their last five.
Askey added: “Cheltenham are the form team at the moment. They are very strong and don’t concede many goals so it is going to be a really tough game. But we have gone there and won, and drawn against them at home, so we have shown that we can compete against them. But we know it’s not going to be easy.
“With all the games we are playing now, the crowds are getting bigger and there is more on each game. Every game becomes more important but that is what you want to be playing in as a player.”