Date: 17th May 2007 at 11:20am
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Orient boss Martin Ling admits that he is still unsure whether the six players he has offered contracts to will be remaining in E10 next season.

Gary Alexander, Glyn Garner, Craig Easton, Luke Guttridge, Adam Tann and Glenn Morris have all been offered new deals, although they have until the end of the month to confirm if they will be staying.

Ling was however delighted to see youngsters Efe Echanomi and Aiden Palmer follow the lead of Matt Lockwood and Jason Demetriou, when they signed one and two-year deals respectively this week.

He said: ‘We are having to be very patient with the lads we’ve offered contracts to and I’m sure there will be other clubs that are interested in all of them.

‘That is because they are all quality players, but we are doing our best to keep them and they are aware that they’re all part of my plans to take this club forward.

‘In that respect I’m delighted both Efe and Aiden have chosen to stay with us, because I believe the pair of them have got very bright futures in the game if they can continue to develop.’

Ling has also revealed that he is still biding his time over the possibility of offloading defender Clayton Fortune to Port Vale where he spent much of last season on-loan.

He added: ‘Until we know what is happening with the six lads that we’ve offered contracts to, then I can’t start making offers to other people as I will need to know what money I’ve got left in the budget.

‘At the moment we are after six players to replace those that have left, although if people don’t re-sign there could be more.

‘There is also Clayton Fortune to consider, because Port Vale have shown some interest in him although it could be that he stays with us and starts afresh next season along with everyone else.

‘But over the last few weeks I’ve already started to sit down with agents of players that we have identified and hopefully those talks can start to progress further when our situation becomes clearer.’

Meanwhile Ling also started interviews yesterday (Wednesday) for a new youth team manager to replace Andy Scott following his departure to Brentford last week.

It is believed four former Orient players were in the frame for the role, with Ling hoping to identify Scott’s replacement by next week.