SCOTT Taggart has followed former team-mate Dougie Imrie in rejecting a contract extension from Morton, the Tele can exclusively reveal.

Like Imrie, 22-year-old full-back Taggart has cited a desire to perform at the highest level possible as his reason for turning down the opportunity to extend his stay at Cappielow.

Taggart, who made 72 starts and four substitute appearances in his two seasons in Greenock, is understood to have an offer from a Championship outfit.

Skipper Imrie spurned advances from Livingston and Raith Rovers as well as the Ton in order to return to the Premiership with Hamilton Accies.

Ton boss Jim Duffy admitted he would have been pleased to see both players re-sign with the club but could also identify with their ambition to test themselves professionally.

He told the Tele: “You get disappointed at losing good players — and Dougie is a terrific player. That’s the reason I didn’t give him a deadline.

“I felt he was too good a player to do that.

“I gave him as much time as possible and hoped that he would still want to stay at Morton.

“Unfortunately, he has decided to move on. He has an opportunity to play in the Premiership, so you can’t compete with that.

“It wasn’t to do with money; it was to do with the boy’s ambition. You can understand that. I don’t think anybody could disagree with wanting to play at the highest level possible in your career.

“He made a real contribution to Morton in a difficult season. I believe he was one of the shining lights and he was very complimentary about the club when I spoke to him.

“We respect his decision and wish him well. Now, from my point of view, we concentrate on bringing in new players for next season.” Duffy added: “Scott Taggart has also turned down his offer and taken the option of moving on.

“I didn’t know much about Scott but from reports he was a decent player.

“I didn’t know the boy personally either but he called me directly and spoke to me.

“He felt he had an opportunity to play in the Championship.

“If that comes up, good luck to him.” The only player yet to make a definitive decision on his future is frontman Archie Campbell, and Duffy has made it clear that his offer may now be removed from the table if another striker becomes available.

He explained: “Archie is still deliberating.

“I may well sign someone in a similar position and a similar style, and if I do so then that would eliminate the contract offer.

“But he’s aware of that as I spoke to him and explained the situation.

“Basically, we’re as we were with Archie. We’ll wait and see what happens.” Meanwhile, former Ton midfielder David Robertson has signed with Livingston. The 27-year-old joined the Cappielow club in January but failed to make the impact Kenny Shiels had hoped for.