Joey Barton says Ross Wallace is no longer training with Fleetwood Town as he looks to the future with Barry Baggley (right).
Wallace returned for Town’s first week of pre-season training but has not featured in any of the games so far.
The out-of-contract midfielder had been offered a fresh contract at Highbury but Barton says the 33-year-old is now exploring options elsewhere.
Having strengthened the midfield with the signings of Paul Coutts and Jordan Rossiter, the head coach is now looking to the future.
He is excited by the potential of 17-year-old Northern Ireland midfielder Baggley, who featured for his first team last season and has racked up the minutes during this pre-season.
Barton explained: “Ross was training with us for the first week and has decided to explore other options.
“I think he lives in the same road as a number of our coaching staff and players so we will keep monitoring that.
“Ross was quality, he did a great job for us last year.
“But we have strengthened in that midfield area.
“With young Barry Baggley coming through, it is a tough decision for me to make.
“Do we go with experience or do we err on the side of a younger player who has enormous potential?
“At this moment of time it looks like we will err on the side of the young player because we rate Barry so highly.”
Another of Town’s younger players, Eddie Clarke, has dropped down a division to join Macclesfield Town on a season-long loan.