BRYAN HUGHES has not ruled out signing another centre-back after Kieran Kennedy rejected the offer of a new contract to sign for Port Vale..

Kennedy joined Wrexham in January after leaving Shrewsbury Town and made 13 appearances, scoring two goals, as he helped the Reds secure a National League play-off spot where they lost 1-0 against Eastleigh in the eliminator.

One of seven players offered new deals, Kennedy opted against extending his stay at The Racecourse and he has agreed to join League Two Vale.

Although he is not short of options in the heart of defence, with captain Shaun Pearson, Jake Lawlor, Manny Smith and Doug Tharme all under contract for 2019-20, Hughes could be tempted to bring in another centre-back.

"It was disappointing to lose Kieran," said Hughes. "I wanted him to stay.

"I knew he would have some admirers as well, circumstances with his old manager getting a new job, he has already got a relationship there.

"My relationship with Kieran was very strong as well and even though he has only been here a short time, he was well liked in the dressing room so he is a big loss.

"It is an area of the pitch where we are very blessed with Shaun, Jake, Manny and Doug, although that is not to say I won't bring someone else in.

"Kieran was obviously offered a deal, it wasn't right for him for whatever reasons and we wish him well in the future."

Smith picked up a knee problem last August and suffered another injury after returning to action in December, keeping him sidelined for the rest of the season.

Although Smith, restricted to just eight league appearances in 2018-19, is still on the road to recovery, Hughes is looking forward to having the 30-year-old available again.

"Manny was making good progress but he has had little ups and downs in the road," said Hughes.

"We are just monitoring Manny on a week to week basis at the moment but when he does come back, he will be like a new signing.

"Hopefully we will see Manny back in contention next season."

Hughes has kept the core of the squad that helped Wrexham challenge for promotion in 2018-19 but the search for fresh faces ahead of a 12th season in non-league has taken Hughes far and wide, and he has targets he hopes to land.

"The recruitment process started for me when I first got in the job," added Hughes.

"That wasn't being detrimental to any of the players that are here, it was just so I had an idea of what was becoming available and potential targets that I might pursue in the future.

"As a range we are looking all round. I have been to Welsh Premier League games, obviously Scotland and seen a lot going on in England.

"It is about keeping your eyes open and looking for the talent when they become available."