Jack Fitzwater to Newcastle: Livingston boss has say on speculation - 'get their chequebooks'

David Martindale is delighted that Livingston defender Jack Fitzwater is being linked with Premier League clubs as he believes it shows the improvement he has made this season.

Jack Fitzwater in action for Livingston during a cinch Premiership match against Hearts.
Jack Fitzwater in action for Livingston during a cinch Premiership match against Hearts.

Burnley, Watford and Newcastle have all been credited with an interest in the 24-year-old former West Brom centre-back, who moved to the Tony Macaroni Arena 18 months ago.

Although Martindale insists there has been no approach from elsewhere regarding Fitzwater, he is pleased to see his players being spoken of as potential targets for other clubs.

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"I saw that in the paper but I've not had any contact," said the Lions manager. "Tell them to get their chequebooks and give me a phone. That's what we're here for. If this club can get Jack Fitzwater playing that level of football down south, I would be over the moon.

Livingston manager David Martindale.

"That's why Jack came up to Scotland and that's why I was looking at boys from that level, as opposed to the EU at that point, with one eye on Brexit and what that's going to mean for clubs' recruitment plans.

"He came up last year and I think the adaptation to the intensity and physicality of Scottish football caught him out slightly, but we put about five or six boys on a gym programme at the tail end of last season.

"Jack was one of those players and I think he's reaped massive dividends from that. His game's kicked on and he's been one of our best players this season so I can see why he's on a lot of clubs' radars."

Another Livingston player who has been attracting interest is attacker Alan Forrest, who was the subject of a failed bid from cinch Premiership rivals St Johnstone last week.

Martindale, who plans to add at least one more new face before the transfer window closes, said: "There's nothing as yet (on Forrest). I told St Johnstone that to sell to a rival we'd be looking for a wee bit more than what we normally would and they've not come back to me as yet."