MORTON are set to reward rising star Reece Lyon with a new deal, the Tele can reveal.

Manager Jonatan Johansson sees the 18-year-old midfielder as a key asset after making his breakthrough into the first team this season.

Greenock lad Lyon has made six appearances in the Championship so far this term, including a man-of-the-match performance in Ton’s 1-0 win over Queen of the South last week.

The Ton boss, who has spoken about wanting to put an emphasis on youth in the future, believes Lyon will be a key part of his plans and hopes to confirm his future at Cappielow soon.

Johansson told the Tele: “From the start when we came in, the club, the Morton fans and everybody involved with the club wants to promote youth, and wants to promote an academy that gives youth a chance.

“With Reece doing really well it’s something we want to reward and show it can be done.

“We see Reece as a long-term servant and asset for the club.

“It’s early days yet, it puts pressure on him but at the same time I think it’s something we need to promote.

“It’s always really important for the young players to have an incentive, that there is a pathway and that Greenock Morton is a club where you can get a chance and will be able to prove your worth.”

Johansson confirmed contract talks would begin soon with his playing squad. The Ton only have one first team player currently signed up for next season, reserve goalkeeper Brendan Pearson, who was signed last month and is expected to move up into the first team next term. But all the

other deals finish at the end of the campaign, and because players are in the last six months of their contracts, they are entitled to speak to other clubs.

Midfielder Michael Tidser looks set to join Falkirk, while other players may also look for a move elsewhere.

Jim McAlister told the Tele last month he had triggered a clause in his contract which entitles him to a new deal after reaching a set amount of appearances, with several other players close

to triggering the same deal in their contracts.

Johansson said: “We hope to start offering contracts soon to certain players.

“We will be talking to more players, but this is a busy time and we need to concentrate on games and picking up points.

“Warren [Hawke, Morton’s chief executive] and the chairman along with myself of course are planning for next season, with the academy as well to see who we want to bring in.

“But it’s tricky as we know players can speak to other clubs. If they’re doing well you know there’s competition and the way the wages have gone in this window.”