Alan Forrest: Why Livingston manager David Martindale hasn’t given up on keeping key attacker

David Martindale insists he has not given up hope of keeping key attacker Alan Forrest at Livingston.

Alan Forrest is attracting interest from Dundee United and is out of contract in the summer
Alan Forrest is attracting interest from Dundee United and is out of contract in the summer

The highly-regarded 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and currently free to enter pre-contract discussion with other clubs if he wishes.

Forrest rejected a move to St Johnstone in January and has now been linked with Dundee United, although Lions boss Martindale admits he would be surprised if he ends up at Tannadice.

"I saw that (the United link) but I've had no contact," said Martindale. "I don't mean this disrespectfully to Dundee United because they are a big club, but I think Alan will have bigger clubs interested in him this summer.

"And, to be honest, I think I've still got a chance of keeping Alan. We talk about finances in football but I think there's a lot to be said for being in the right environment to let yourself grow as a footballer.

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"I've seen a lot of boys move on for extra money and it doesn't quite go the way they want so there's a lot to be said for being in a good environment. If there's one player in the building where finances are not a big part of the equation, it's Alan Forrest.

"Alan could have moved to St Johnstone in January for a lot more money than he is getting at Livingston but he came in and spoke to me and said he didn't want to leave Livingston and it wasn't about the money.

“So I still think we've got a chance of keeping him. But I do believe when his time comes, he's going to have bigger opportunities elsewhere (than Dundee United)."

Livingston will have the chance to climb into the top six of the cinch Premiership when they host Dundee United on Wednesday.

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There are currently six teams separated by just three points in the mid-section of the division, and Martindale is adamant his team are now fully focused on finishing in the top half of the table for a third year running.

"Yes, 100 per cent, we look at it and we speak about it," said Martindale. "Before the Hibs v Celtic game, people were telling me if Celtic won by three goals and if Rangers beat Motherwell we'd jump to fifth, but then both games were draws and we ended up sitting seventh again. That shows how tight the league is.

"There are five cup finals until the split and it would be absolutely incredible if we could get ourselves into the top six. Everybody and their dog had us down for finishing 12th and getting relegated even though we've had two top-six finishes and a cup final in our previous two seasons. I found it a wee bit disrespectful so we've got a lot of people to prove wrong and, as the underdog, that's fuel to the fire for us."