MOTHERWELL manager Stephen Robinson isn’t giving up on keeping a hold of teenage sensation Jake Hastie, as the winger revealed he hasn’t held any talks with Rangers about signing for the Ibrox club.

Reports on Thursday evening suggested that Steven Gerrard was close to securing the signature of the 19-year-old on a pre-contract agreement, but both Hastie and Fir Park boss Robinson denied that any deal had been struck as they presented a united front and faced the press together yesterday.

Robinson and Hastie were collecting the awards for manager and player of the month for January and February, with the likes of Hastie and David Turnbull inspiring a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the Steelmen since their Scottish Cup exit to Ross County after the winter break.

It was no surprise though that the main topic of conversation was the immediate future of Hastie, with Robinson admitting that a big decision lies ahead of his precocious talent.

“There’s a lot of speculation, but as Jake [has] said, he is just concentrating on Saturday’s game,” said Robinson.

“He’s got a decision to make and we’re all aware of that, but he’s a young man who is doing very, very well.

“So, at the moment it is pure speculation. We haven’t given up hope. We’ve put a contract offer on the table, the best of our ability, and he’s obviously attracting a lot of attention which his form rightly deserves.

“That’s the nature of things when you are at Motherwell. We must be doing something right and Jake must be doing something very right when he’s being linked with the clubs he is being linked with.

“We’re doing our very best to convince him to stay. Jake is a boy who has been at this club a long time, he’s got a great relationship with the staff, with myself, he’s playing regular first-team football and he’s doing very, very well. That’s the lure.

“Everyone has to make decisions in football, but for the here and now, he’s a Motherwell player and he’s concentrating very much on the Hamilton game which is a huge game for us.”

Robinson knows that if Hastie’s decision comes purely down to money, then Motherwell don’t have a prayer of holding onto him. But he is banking on the player seeing the value in regular first-team football at Fir Park as being critical to his long-term development.

“We can never compete financially with the teams that the speculation has been about, but what we can do is say that we have an extremely good coaching staff beneath what people see and the hard work that goes into that,” he said.

“There is the opportunity to play first-team football and play in an environment where he is loved and very well-liked by the crowd and everybody here.

“That’s the selling point of Motherwell, we give young players a chance, they get to play football and they get the game-time so that they develop.

“They develop by playing football matches.”

Hastie himself echoed the sentiment from his manager that talk of a move to Rangers won’t distract him from what lies immediately ahead, starting with this afternoon’s Lanarkshire derby.

“It’s just all speculation and I’m just focusing on the Hamilton game,” said Hastie. “I’ve had no talks at all.

“It’s been quite weird really since I’ve started to come into the team, I have to pinch myself sometimes.

“I’m just enjoying myself and enjoying my football, and the main thing is to concentrate on that just now.

“We’ve been on a good run of form winning six on the bounce there. The boys have been playing brilliant.

“That comes down to the gaffer and the backroom staff as well, they’ve been absolutely brilliant with the boys off the park.

“If someone had told me a couple of months ago this would all be happening I would probably have told them to shut up. It’s been a good couple of months.

“I believed in my ability, but it has taken me by surprise a little bit since I came back. I thought I would have to bide my time a wee bit, but the gaffer has given me a chance and I just need to repay him now.”

“The boys keep my feet on the ground, and so does the gaffer right enough. He’s always slaughtering my Instagram and stuff like that!

“I just came in on Friday like it was a normal day and looked forward to training.”