MORTON star Michael Tidser is to quit Cappielow to join bitter rivals Falkirk - but Ton boss Jonatan Johansson insists he will remain a vital part of his team until the end of this season.

Months of transfer speculation around the midfielder is finally set to end, with an announcement expected shortly to confirm that the 29-year-old has agreed a pre-contract deal with Ray McKinnon's Bairns.

The former Rotherham United man started the season in flying form under McKinnon during his short stint in charge at Cappielow, scoring five goals and providing five assists in seven starts.

After Johansson took over the player was in and out of the side, suffering a number of small injuries while off-field issues also hampered his progress.

The manager recently told the Tele that the fans' favourite had been affected by speculation during the January transfer window.

It's believed Falkirk unsuccessfully tried to land him then, while Premiership Dundee also made him an offer.

With a quarter of the Championship campaign left Morton are in sixth place and three points off the promotion play-offs - and Johansson insists Tidser will be a vital part of his team for the run-in despite the fact his future lies elsewhere.

While the Ton boss refused to confirm the player's impending move, he says he expects an official announcement on the situation to come soon and clarify the situation.

He told the Tele: "It was clear that Falkirk made their interest clear in January, but I didn’t want to lose Michael in the window.

“I don’t want to comment on what happens between the clubs.

"Something will likely come out about it soon.

“For me it has always been about the player, and having the player until the end of the season.

“Michael is a professional and his focus is fully on Greenock Morton for now.

“He’s doing really well for the club and his last few performances have been good.

“I think in January it did affect things when the window was open, and Michael had a few injury problems that he was carrying as well.

“It’s always a little bit unsettling at the time, but when the window closes we looked forward.

“It’s about being professional and doing the best for Morton, and if the player is doing well for me and is a good team-mate and he’s good for the group.”