MAX Clayton could remain a Crewe Alexandra player next season with director of football Dario Gradi not prepared to sell the striker for a cut price.

The 19-year-old striker seemed set to leave this summer after refusing to sign a new contract. However, Gradi has not given up on a player once linked with the likes of Liverpool.

Clayton bagged nine goals for Crewe in his first full season, 2012/13, but mustered only five last term after missing the majority with a broken ankle.

The Alex would still be guaranteed a fee for Clayton but a tribunal is unlikely to meet their valuation.

"I'd like to think there is a chance Max might re-sign and see how things go here, especially after what happened last season," he said. "But we are way off that yet.

"If not, we would need to see who wants to buy him and how much they are prepared to pay. That won't be easy as he hardly played last season.

"We've always considered Max to be a potential £3M player like Nick (Powell). But he hasn't played and we haven't picked him so that's unlikely to be the figure now.

"But if someone thinks they can come in and grab him for next to nothing then we've have to stand up against that.

"What I will try and do is not allow greed on anybody's part, theirs or ours, to prevent him having a career."

Looking to the future, Crewe have also hit the headlines after beating off competition from Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton to sign eight-year-old Cassius Cisse, son of Dijbril Cisse.

And recruitment for the first-team will ramp up this week as boss Steve Davis looks to strengthen his squad.

As revealed in last week's Guardian, Mark Ellis was released alongside Abdul Osman, Steve Phillips and Kelvin Mellor.

"There won't be masses of players coming in because we can't do it," said Davis. "But we had to make room somewhere to bring in one or two faces in who will help us next season.

"Chris Johnson (head of recruitment) will play a major part in who we bring in over the summer although ultimately it will be my decision.

"We wonメt rush into any hasty decisions and if we canメt find better, what we have got is who we will start the pre-season with."