Doncaster Rovers had received a number of enquiries regarding Alfie May’s status before he agreed a new deal at the Keepmoat, Grant McCann has revealed.
But the Rovers boss insists he was always going to offer May fresh terms.
The 25-year-old has agreed a new 18-month contract to take him through to the summer of 2020 but McCann says the striker had plenty other options available to him.
“I'll be honest, if we didn't offer Alfie a new contract he could have walked into another League One team tomorrow,” McCann told the Free Press.
“The amount of phonecalls I've had asking what we're doing with him is scary.
“We think highly of him and there was absolutely no way he was going to leave the football club.
“We feel he can improve again. We want to work with him and help him and we feel he's got every tool that he needs.
“He probably just needs to get a bit more belief out of himself that he can score every week rather than score in one and not score for three.”
Progression and development remains firmly on the agenda for a player who was plying his trade in the eighth tier a little more than two years ago.
May has scored 11 goals in 28 appearances so far this season, 11 of them being starts including the last three matches when his performances have been excellent.
And McCann believes May has plenty more potential within himself as he continues to develop.
He said: “Alfie, in my opinion, can be whatever he wants to be.
“He's got every tool. He can play off both feet, he's quick, can run in behind, he works for the team and he’s tehnically really good.
“He’s someone who is getting better every day.
"Alfie is a manager and coach’s dream because he is coachable, he wants to get better and to know how he needs to do that.
“It was a no-brainer and we're delighted to keep him.”
McCann has regularly lauded May for his attitude and approach to training as he has battled for opportunities in the side this season.
Having comfortably eclipsed his previous goalscoring efforts already this season, McCann says May’s impact when handed chances is clear to see.
“He's been brilliant, he really has,” McCann said.
“His record speaks for itself this season.
“He hadn't started many games so I wouldn't read too much into the fact he's only scored two league goals.
“When he has started, he's impacted, whether that's cup or league. He's impacted the result, the game and we're delighted with him.
“He's playing well at the minute and his impact is helping us, because of his honesty, his workrate and endeavour. We're pleased with him.
“I didn't see Alfie much last year. I'd seen the games and a wee bit of him but I didn't know too much of Alfie May.
“By all accounts, and people speak to me and say, Alfie looks a different person than last year.”
Earlier this week goalkeeper Louis Jones also extended his contract to the summer of 2020, reducing the number of senior players whose deals expire at the end of the season to 18.