Rovers insist 'Duke' is not for sale

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BRISTOL ROVERS have again stated FA Cup hat-trick hero Nathan Ellington is not for sale, but they may have to cash-in on their prized asset in the future.

Ellington's treble blast sent Premiership side Derby tumbling out of the competition at the Third Round stage and the former Walton & Hersham frontrunner stated a wish to play at the highest level.

However, Rovers say he is not for sale, but they would reluctantly part company with the 20-year-old hot shot if he refuses to sign a new deal at the Memorial Ground.

"We have no plans to sell Nathan. He has been making great progress with us and we feel that can continue under Garry Thompson, who can help to bring him along even further," vice-chairman Geoff Dunford said.

"But we also know that if he keeps playing like he is at the moment, more and more people will take interest in him and you can't stop that.

"It's inevitable, and what matters is how you handle it.

"But realistically, we could not afford to get to a situation where his contract would run out and he could walk away for nothing under the Bosman rule.

"If he wasn't willing to sign a new contract, then we would eventually be forced to sell him. But at the moment, we are more than happy with the way things are." Ellington's return to the side has coincided with a good run of form for Rovers, who have climbed clear of the relegation zone.