Luke Howell refuses to rule out shock return to Lincoln City
LUKE HOWELL will hold talks with Lincoln City manager Steve Tilson next week and has refused to rule out a shock return to Sincil Bank.
Howell will become a free agent on July 1 when his contract with City expires.
However, Tilson has expressed a desire to retain the midfielder and will discuss personal terms with the schemer when he returns from holiday.
The 24-year-old has attracted interest from clubs in League One and Two and would prefer to remain in the Football League.
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But he would consider dropping down to the Blue Square Bet Premier having enjoyed his spell with the Imps, who he joined on a permanent contract following his release by MK Dons in January.
"I am not ruling out a return to Lincoln," said Howell.
"I enjoyed my time there last season and had we not been relegated, then I would have probably already signed for the club. So that is a shame.
"But I want to play as high as possible as well and it is an important thing for me to stay in the Football League.
"I am based in Milton Keynes as well so obviously I am quite a distance away from Lincoln and that is something I would have to take into consideration too, but I have not ruled it out.
"I had a chat with the manager at the end of the season, just to discuss how I saw my future and he said he would like to offer me something and would be in touch once the budget had been sorted.
"I think I am going to speak to him more next week about finances and the length of any deal."
Howell, along with Andrew Hutchinson and Danny Hone, was one of only three players to be told they had a future at Sincil Bank following the Imps' relegation.
Sub-standard performances may have swayed Tilson's decision on several first-team players, but Howell believes the former Southend boss also had his hands tied financially.
“I think the relegation forced the manager’s and the board’s hand on how many people had to leave,” said Howell.
“But even in those circumstances, the manager told me he would like to keep me and that was pleasing.”
Howell played 27 times for Lincoln last season, scoring one goal, and caught the eye with some gutsy performances towards the back end of the campaign.
The Cuckfield-born middleman believes his stint with the Imps has stood him in good stead. However, he is adamant he will not take too long to reach a decision on his next move.
“The games I played for Lincoln have helped me and I have had a bit of interest,” said Howell.
“Obviously, it was better that I was playing games last season than not playing.
“But the summer is a difficult time for players, there are going to be lots out of contract and I don’t want to leave anything too long.
“Teams may express an interest in you but if you leave it too long, you never know things can change.”
Season tickets are available for collection and supporters are encouraged to pick them up as soon as possible.
More than 700 have been sold so far with the early bird deadline ending on June 30.