St Johnstone captain Jason Kerr has left the club, signing for Wigan Athletic on deadline day.
Kerr, who led the club to victory in the Scottish Cup and League Cup last season, has signed a three-year contract with the League One side. St Johnstone said that they had received a bid that they did not feel they could reject.
The 24-year-old had joined St Johnstone seven years ago and went on to be the most successful captain in the club’s history. Kerr played over 100 games for the club and wore the armband as they played Galatasaray and LASK Linz in European football this season.
In a dramatic deadline day, the club also sold midfielder Ali McCann to Preston North End for what the club said was a significant seven-figure fee that could rise to a club record of over £1.75m.
St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown said that Kerr leaves with the best wishes of everyone at the club.
“During this transfer window, we have rejected bids for Jason, but Wigan Athletic met our valuation,” he said. “From a club and, in particular, a financial point of view, it was an offer we could not turn down.
“Along with the rest of the board, I wish Jason the very best of luck in the next stage of his career.
“He was an excellent professional, a brilliant leader as captain and a first-class individual.
“The memory of Jason leading first-class the Betfred League Cup and Scottish Cup last season will never leave us.”
Speaking about the McCann sale, he added: “We tried very hard to resist all of the bids for Ali.
“But Preston’s offer is a huge sum and one we couldn’t turn down. In time, it is likely to become the club’s record transfer fee received.
“In all situations, we also have to take the wishes of the player into account and Ali told us he wanted to play in England.
“Reluctantly, we have allowed Ali to move to Preston and we wish him all the very best as he has been a great player for the football club and a first-class individual.”
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson said: “It’s never easy to lose a player of Jason’s calibre. He was someone who led the team in exemplary fashion at all times, on and off the pitch.
“But, from a footballing point of view, and the fact he has been a first-team player for five seasons, we could not stand in his way.
“The time is right for the next stage of his development as a footballer.”
St Johnstone did add to their squad earlier on deadline day, securing Ali Crawford on a six-month loan from Bolton Wanderers. The club also made a late signing with defender Lars Dendoncker arriving on a season-long loan from Brighton and announced the signing of Cammy MacPherson from St Mirren on loan.