Livingston manager David Martindale has told James Penrice a move to Hearts would be "fantastic" but warned a pre-contract deal could "kill your options".

The 25-year-old is attracting transfer interest from a host of Scottish Premiership clubs and is free to move in the summer with his contract up.

And the Livingston full-back has been told a switch to Hearts would be a top option by his current manager.

However, Martindale has told the defender to consider holding out until the summer to assess his options with reported interest from England alongside the Scottish transfer talk.

As yet, Penrice is not thought to have signed any pre-contract but is set to depart Livingston in the summer.

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Martindale said: "I hope he hasn't signed one, he hasn't told me. We have a good relationship and I've told him Hearts would be a fantastic club for him.

"But I have also told him I think he could be surprised by the options he has in the summer. Sometimes by signing a pre-contract you kill your options.

"It's his decision. His representatives will do the best for him.

"If he has to sign a pre-contract and thinks that's right, I'll be more than happy because trust James 100 per cent. It's not going to change my relationship with him.

"If James holds off to see what else is out there in the summer, including Hearts, I don't think that would be a bad option for him either."