MARK Ellis could be the shock name in a list of players heading for an Alex exodus.

The 25-year-old centre-half will learn his fate this week as boss Steve Davis begins preparations for a third season in League One.

Despite being instrumental in Crewe’s great escape, Ellis is out of contract next month with Byron Moore, Kelvin Mellor, Abdul Osman and AJ Leitch-Smith also in the same boat.

It would be a controversial move with the former Torquay defender well-regarded by many supporters, but Davis might be ready to back George Ray alongside Adam Dugdale, the returning Harry Davis and fresh blood.

“It’s not a nice part of the job but these decisions have to be made and are always done in the best interests of the club,” said Davis.

“We needed to know which division we would be playing in and we discussed both scenarios.

“Some we’ll be unable to keep and others we’ll do our best to.

“Talks are ongoing and I will speak to them face-to-face this week.”

After being voted player of the season and player’s player, skipper Matt Tootle is expected to move on with several clubs reportedly preparing bids.

Max Clayton remains unlikely to sign a new deal although breakthrough player of the season Ben Garratt has pledged his future to Crewe.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper stays until 2016.

Davis insists the Alex will continue to put their faith in the Academy with little transfer activity expected this summer.

“Everyone knows how important the academy is to us,” he continued.

“You can see that from young players like Ollie Turton.

“We have to produce players because that is the only way we can survive.

“To be in a league like this is overachieving for us and how many years we can keep doing – I don’t know.

“But we’d love to keep doing it.

“Dario Gradi did for many years, sometimes in the Championship, but in the end it can catch up with you.”