Stockport boss Gary Ablett admits speculation surrounding Josh Thompson's future was the reason for the highly-rated starlet's exclusion in the club's 1-0 win over Grimsby on Saturday.
Thompson has been subject of speculation linking him with a move away from Edgeley Park for much of the summer with Celtic and Manchester United set to battle it out for the 18-year-old's signature.
The highly-rated defender, who has only made six starts for the Hatters, is expected to travel to Scotland this week for talks with Bhoys boss Tony Mowbray over a possible move to Parkhead.
Mowbray took the teenager on trial when manager of West Brom and feels Thompson has the ability to make it at a club like Celtic as he looks to wrap up a deal before his United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson steps up his interest.
County continued their pre-season preparations with a home victory over Grimsby at the weekend and boss Ablett explained his reasons for omitting Thompson from his match-day squad. "We just felt with all the speculation it was the right decision," Ablett told Manchester Evening News.
"We spoke to Josh earlier in the week and we felt that in terms of his concentration levels it was best to monitor the situation.
"Things may happen (with Celtic), things may not happen, we'll just have to wait and see.
"But we just felt that it was in Josh's best interests not to play him in this game as we build up for the new season."