AJ Leitch-Smith: Port Vale top scorer rejects new contract offer

Ajay Leitch-Smith
AJ Leitch-Smith has scored 30 goals in 168 league appearances for Crewe, Yeovil and Port Vale

Port Vale striker AJ Leitch-Smith has rejected the offer of a new contract with the League One club.

The club's 12-goal scorer, who signed on a one-year deal from Yeovil in July 2015, has already been linked with a move to join newly-departed ex-Vale boss Rob Page at promoted Northampton.

"His agent sent an email today to say that they were rejecting the offer," said Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite.

"They want to terminate his contract and for him to be paid up."

Smurthwaite told BBC Radio Stoke: "That is what were going to do.

"We gave the boy a chance then, all of a sudden, his requirements have gone up six-fold and we're not in that market.

"Rob was hoping we could keep him but he's got interest from other clubs now.

"I suppose we could have tied him down to a two-year deal when he came, but he wanted to make himself known again, reinvent his career, and we've benefited from that. That's football."

Former Crewe Alexandra Academy product Leitch-Smith, who spent a year at Yeovil prior to his move back to the Potteries, did not make an instant impact at Vale Park.

Having failed to score in his first 16 games, he then hit 12 in 26 matches over the second half of the season to help transform Vale from relegation candidates to potential play-off challengers.

Leitch-Smith follows the lead of defender Richard Duffy and striker Louis Dodds, who are to make summer moves after rejecting new deals, while midfielder Michael O'Connor is looking to move to cut down on his travelling.

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