Calum McIntyre insists he will do everything to help Chester best ‘protect their assets’ when it comes to approaches for the talented academy graduates.

At just 24, the academy head coach was placed in caretaker charge of first-team affairs following Marcus Bignot’s sacking last month, and with a permanent appointment still to be made, McIntyre is advising the club on the future of the younger element of the first-team set-up.

That includes impressive duo James Jones and Tom Crawford, who have been offered new contract extensions by Chester but are yet to decide on their futures. The Blues did offer the pair new contracts two months ago to meet UEFA regulations and will be due compensation if either of the academy graduates choose to move on.

West Bromwich Albion, who were relegated from the Premier League last week, are understood to have expressed an interest in the duo.

"My main priority has been advising the club on how best to proceed with regards to our younger players where there is obviously a real need to act in a manner which protects the football club and ensures we retain those assets of key value,” said McIntyre, who has not spoken to Chester’s senior players regarding their futures and will leave that job to the new manager, who is set to be appointed this week.

“I haven't been involved in any discussions regarding senior players and new deals as it is really something for a new manager to sort out.

"I imagine the priority for a manager coming in will be to assess the players that are currently contracted to the club and then following those up who have been out of contract this summer.

"This isn't something I've been too involved in to be honest. I think it's important that a manager makes the decision on his group moving forwards, but I would obviously offer an opinion on those players to both the club and a new manager and make any recommendations.

“My role at the moment has been very much linked to trying to get the younger players fixed up to ensure we are retaining those assets."

Last summer saw Jones, Crawford and Nathan Brown rewarded with their first senior professional contracts and the likes of Cain Noble, Matty Thomson and Rhain Hellawell are all set to be in the frame for professional deals over the coming weeks.

McIntyre wouldn’t be drawn on names regarding senior contracts but confirmed he is working with the club on those who he feels are deserving of graduating from the academy, and is looking to put a loan network in place to ensure the talented teenagers can be successful integrated into first-team football, something former boss Marcus Bignot had brought in during his tenure.

"This is very much on the agenda at the moment,” explained McIntyre, who effectively remains in caretaker charge before a new manager is appointed.

“The model of the club has seen us offer professional deals to our Academy boys in recent seasons and I don't see this changing.

“If anything, the last 12 months has demonstrated how important this process is. I presented a model to the club a few weeks ago with regards to our Academy graduates and how we structure a first year professional deal, establishing a loan network that ensures we have lads out playing games to continue their development. This was part of looking at how we can structure our development programme better.

"It's wrong to name names but there are obviously boys in the frame. It's important we are ensuring we can then continue their development next season.

“I'm liaising with the club on this and keen to get it sorted, however, I'm balancing that with preparing a Youth Team for a game every three days, notably the biggest fixture in the history of our Youth section (National Cup final on Wednesday).

“I need to sit down and discuss my own situation at some point but the priority is very much the next 10 days’ worth of games and getting the boys that need tying up tied up."