St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin has revealed that he has spoken to several managers who are interested in midfielder Jamie McGrath – but says it would take a “huge” bid to tempt the club to sell.
Mcgrath has been a stand-out player for the Paisley side since arriving from Dundalk last summer, scoring 15 times as the Saits went close to a top six place and reached Hampden in both cup competitions.
That form has caught the eye of clubs north and south of the border, according to Goodwin, but the Buddies’ boss insists he wants the player to be part of his plans for next season.
“I have had a number of conversations with managers out there regarding Jamie,” Goodwin said. “But we’re lucky we’ve got him tied up for next season so I’m planning for next season with McGrath in our team.”
The manager didn’t rule out a sale altogether, but was clear that it would only happen if admirers were prepared to make an irresistible offer.
“If somebody comes in with an outrageous bid in the summer then who knows what could happen,” he said.
“It would need to be a huge sum of money because a hundred grand just isn’t going to cut it as we wouldn’t be able to replace Jamie McGrath with £100,000 or £200,000.
“There has been no cash put on the table yet but I have had at least three managers from England and one from Scotland asking about him.
“People can talk about selling but we’re very fortunate that we’re in a position as a club where we don’t need to sell anybody. We’re trying to build something here and this is the very early stages of a big project we’re working on.”
McGrath’s current deal ends in the summer of 2022 and though St Mirren have offered an extension, Goodwin knows that the player may want to consider his options.
“I think we need to be realistic about it,” he said. “We’ve made Jamie a very good and very fair offer.
“It’s the kind of offer we’re able to get to but we’re not daft enough to think other clubs can’t pay slightly more salary.
“But I have to be realistic too and I don’t want to hold anyone against their will either. If a big club comes in that offers Jamie life-changing wages then who am I to stand in his way?
“But it has to work for all parties.
“Jamie is far too grounded to allow any kind of speculation affect him. He knows he needs to keep performing on the pitch and hopefully come the summer there will be a whole host of clubs wanting to take our best players – and hopefully we’ll do our best here to encourage them to stay with us for at least another season.”