CREWE Alexandra boss Dave Artell says a decision on skipper George Ray’s future can be expected next week.

The former Wales under 21 international’s contract with The Alex expires at the end of this month and he has yet to sign an extension.

Should Ray decide to leave Gresty Road, the club would be entitled to compensation as he is under the age of 24.

However, after more talks with the 23-year-old, Artell is confident the defender will stay with the club.

“Me and George have spoken again and we have agreed on a timescale,” he told

“It isn’t me being overly strict, it has been decided by both parties. We just need to know where we both are.

“I do fully expect him to sign and I’m not losing any sleep over it. I remain very confident that George will remain a Crewe Alexandra player.

“I think that if it was all down to George then he would have signed already.”

One player who will not be staying with The Alex is midfielder Ollie Turton, who has joined League One outfit Blackpool.

The 24-year-old was offered fresh terms by Artell but has opted to try his luck at a higher level.

The Crewe boss believes there are a number of players in his squad who could follow Turton and play above League Two standard should they wish.

“If we are successful this coming season, don’t be surprised if my phone doesn’t ring about our players,” he said.

“It has rung about our players, tentative enquiries. I fully envisage that to happen because I envisage us being successful this season.

“I think we’ve got quite a few players who are ready to be ripened.

“But to leave a club in League Two, you need to be in the top seven. Would that make them any better players than they were last year? A fraction.

“But when you are in the bottom 10 in League Two no-one wants to know you. I can understand that.”

The fixtures for the 2017-18 League Two season were released yesterday, Wednesday, and The Alex will kick off the campaign at home to Mansfield Town on Saturday, August 5.

Their first away game sees them travel to neighbours Port Vale on August 26 and they will finish the season with a home game against Cheltenham Town on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

“Mansfield are first up & it will be interesting to see how we get on against them,” Artell said.

“You do want to start at home, that’s the bottom line.

“We’re up against the title favourites so it’s a good early chance to gauge ourselves.

“We’re going to find out a lot about ourselves after the first game, it’s a good one first up and it’ll be good to see where we’re at.”