CONRAD BALATONI has strongly hinted that he will leave Partick Thistle this summer - despite the prospect of a new contract offer as the Firhill side aim for their best top-flight finish in 34 years.

The 24-year-old defender, who will line up against Hamilton today, is one of a dozen Thistle players looking for new deals and has been told by manager Alan Archibald that the Jags want to keep him.

However, Balatoni gave the impression that he has itchy feet as he collected the McCrea Financial Services Award for winning the fans' Player of the Month for April.

He said: "With us now safe, the gaffer is now speaking to people and he's just pulled me in and told me he wants to keep me. Whether or not we can negotiate a deal we'll wait and see.

"I've been happy here for a good five years. It's sometimes part and parcel of football you have to move on.

"It's got to be right for me personally. I know what I'll be looking for and we'll just need to wait and see.

"Even if something doesn't happen and I have to leave, I can walk out of here with my head held high.

"It would just be a case of moving on and wishing everyone the best.

"But I'm happy here, so we'll just see what comes at the end of the season.

"I'm not saying no or yes. I've had five great years, I have fond memories of the place and moving on is part of football.

"If something gets agreed then great, if not then you move on.

"It's the first time I've been out of contract so it's a bit of a new experience for me.

"It's a wee bit exciting because you never know what might be around the corner.

"But at the same time you've just got to keep playing your best.

"Say for instance I wasn't playing it's not looking great for yourself.

"But I've helped the team stay in the league and I think my performances have been very good so we'll see what happens."

Balatoni's seemingly inevitable departure is no reflection of the abilities of manager Archibald who will take charge of Thistle for the 100th time today having comfortably secured safety in the Premiership.

The defender rates the Firhill manager as a highly astute operator and respects the work he has done given that he was plunged in at the deep end in January, 2013 to replace Jackie McNamara when he was still playing in the team.

Archibald has achieved 44 points already - six more than last season - and could overtake Hamilton in the closing matches of the season to take seventh place, which would be Thistle's greatest top-flight finish since 1981 when they were sixth.

Balatoni said: "He's been great with me. He was a defender and I played with him when I first came on loan here.

"It was quite strange seeing him go from player to getting the gaffer's job, but he's taken it in his stride.

"Tactically, he's very aware and he sits down and tells us all how a team will play against us and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

"Over the last two months we've had a really good run. We've worked hard. A lot of people wrote us off and said we wouldn't pick up any points after the split.

"That was just daft because we knew we were one of the best squads in the bottom six and we feel we can finish seventh, especially if we beat Hamilton."