LOUIS LAING was warned by his Nottingham Forest team-mates to snub a move to Motherwell.

But the central defender has thanked the Lanarkshire club for delivering the best experience of his career so far.

And it has made the Englishman keen to keep his Well dream going after the summer and beyond.

Brought in on the last day of the January transfer window on loan from the City Ground, Laing has gone on to feature 13 times for the Steelmen in their SPFL Premiership great escape story.

It has given him a taste of first-team football that has proven invaluable to the 22-year-old, who played in both Premiership play-off final legs against Rangers last week.

And speaking exclusively to SportTimes, Laing told how silencing 50,000 fans at Ibrox is so far the highlight of a career that he hopes can continue at Motherwell.

He said: "I said through the week that playing at Ibrox in front of that many people was definitely the best experience of my career.

"When I first came up here the boys at Forest said it's not the best and I shouldn't go to Scotland.

"I totally disagree. The Scottish league is more than what people think. It's perceived in England as not being that good but trust me it is a good standard.

"We have struggled this season and we really shouldn't have been down the bottom of the league in the first place but to beat Rangers 6-1 on aggregate was fantastic."

On Tuesday Motherwell announced that nine first-team players were to be released, as well as seeing a host of loan players, including Laing, sent back to their parent clubs.

The situation of the former Sunderland defender is slightly different as he now finds himself out of contract and a free agent.

But Laing revealed the prospect of returning to Motherwell on a permanent basis is something that appeals to him.

"As far as I'm aware I'm a free agent so I'll be leaving Forest," he said.

"Coming back to Motherwell would definitely be something that interests me. I've really enjoyed my time up here.

"Obviously I need to see what kind of options I've got but I love it here, it's great."

A big part of the appeal of coming back to Fir Park lies in his relationship with Motherwell manager Baraclough.

Having been the man to bring Laing to Lanarkshire in the first place, the pair have developed a solid relationship over the past few months.

It is something the defender is keen to build on.

He said: "The gaffer has come in and he's done really well. He's also brought some really good players in. Since they arrived our form has gone up.

"Next season we have got to be pushing for top six at least but you never know. This club can take you anywhere.

"On a personal level the manager has been fantastic. He's one of the best gaffers I've ever had and I'm not just saying that.

"He understands me and keeps me happy. I don't really see myself as a problem but anything I've asked of him he's come through for me.

"I can't speak highly enough of him."