Motherwell offer new deals to Ainsworth, Erwin & Sutton

Motherwell striker John Sutton
John Sutton joined Motherwell for a second time in 2013

Motherwell have offered new deals to Lionel Ainsworth, Lee Erwin and John Sutton as several players depart.

Stuart Carswell, Adam Cummins, Zaine Francis-Angol, Fraser Kerr, Paul Lawson, Bob McHugh, Simon Ramsden, Ross Stewart and Iain Vigurs exit Fir Park.

Striker Scott McDonald's second spell with the Steelmen is ending and Nathan Thomas also moves on.

Conor Grant, Louis Laing, George Long, Mark O'Brien and Anthony Straker return to their parent clubs.

Winger Conor Grant, 20, had been on loan from Everton while 22-year-old defenders Laing and O'Brien joined on a temporary basis from Nottingham Forest and Derby County, respectively.

Lee Erwin and Lionel Ainsworth
Motherwell are keen to retain Erwin and Ainsworth

Straker, 26, returns to York City and 21-year-old goalkeeper Long had been loaned by Sheffield United.

Former Celtic forward McDonald, 31, and ex-Plymouth Argyle winger Thomas, 20, were on short-term deals, with the former having his second spell at Fir Park.

English striker Sutton rejoined Motherwell in 2013 after leaving to join Hearts two years previously. The 31-year-old has played for several clubs north and south of the border as well as Central Coast Mariners in Australia.

Sutton's countryman Ainsworth, 27, initially joined Motherwell on loan from Rotherham United in 2013 and formalised the move last summer.

And Scottish forward Erwin, 21, has been at Fir Park since 2006, having a loan spell with Arbroath in 2013.

The attacking trio helped Motherwell retain their top-flight status with victory over two legs against Rangers in the Scottish Premiership play-off final.

Ainsworth has accepted a two-match ban for violent conduct relating to an incident that followed Sunday's second leg at Fir Park - a match in which he and Sutton both scored.