Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay admits he remains unsure if George Hirst will still be an Owls player next season.
The England Under-19 international, who has made just two first-team appearances for the Championship outfit, will become a free agent this summer.
One national newspaper linked Hirst, the son of Owls great David, with a move to Premier League giants Manchester United yesterday. He is also reportedly attracting the interest of Leicester City, Everton and Newcastle United.
When asked at his press briefing today if it is inevitable George will leave Hillsborough, Luhukay said: “It is a decision which George has to make himself.
“I think it’s very difficult if a club like Manchester United have interest in him to say no.
“George must decide how he sees his future. I respect that.
“But it is George’s decision at the end. Whether it is a good decision or not, I can’t answer that.
“The future for a young player is not so easy but it is important when you make a decision you stick by that 100 per cent.
“If George stays here, I will be unbelievably happy. But I must also accept and respect when George makes a decision for the future elsewhere.”
George recently returned to action with Wednesday’s development squad following a lengthy stand-off between the club and his representatives. Although he featured for the Owls at youth level, Luhukay has made it clear George will not be considered for senior selection until his long-term future is resolved.
It is understood a contract offer remains on the table for the 19-year-old striker.
Luhukay said: “George is a fantastic player but I can’t say where his future is. How far he goes in the future, I can’t say.
“It is why he must look first at what is the next step for him. Is it the Championship with us or is it maybe the Premier League? You then must have a look at how his career is going.
“You must keep an eye on young players and then see what is the next step and how is the situation after one or two years and how is the direction. It’s very difficult to say now.
“George is only a young player in the Under-18s so you never know how it will go in the future. I hope for him it will go in a good way.”