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St Mirren determined to keep hold of Jamie McGrath

St Mirren determined to keep hold of Jamie McGrath
© Reuters
Buddies boss Jim Goodwin said 'a hundred grand just isn't going to cut it' to buy the midfielder.

Jim Goodwin has warned Aberdeen it will take an "outrageous" fee for St Mirren to give up Jamie McGrath this summer.

The Irishman is hot property after an impressive first season in Scotland, having contributed 15 goals to the Paisley cause from his role in the heart of Goodwin's midfield.

Now his manager has revealed he has already fielded calls from rival bosses on both sides of the border expressing an interest in the 24-year-old former Dundalk ace.

But reports this week claim it is new Dons boss Steven Glass who is preparing to make an early move, with talk of a six-figure bid being prepared by the Pittodrie outfit.

However, McGrath still has another year to run on his contract and Goodwin insists Saints will hold firm on their asking price.

"Jamie has been one of our star performers all season," said the Buddies boss. "I have had a number of conversations with managers out there regarding Jamie.

"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.

"If somebody comes in with an outrageous bid in the summer then who knows what could happen.

"It would need to be a huge sum of money (for us to sell) 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 has been a key figure in helping Saints reach two semi-finals this season and Goodwin is keen to tie his compatriot down on a longer deal.

But the St Mirren manager admitted: "I think we need to be realistic about it.

"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."

Meanwhile, Goodwin has confirmed Saints are in the running to sign St Johnstone's Michael O'Halloran when the winger's Perth deal expires this summer.

He said: "Michael is a player I've always liked with his great attributes like his pace and his power. He's played at a really good level.

"Yeah he's on the list but I've got about 50 or 60 players on that list.

"We've spoken about him but there hasn't been anything concrete put to Michael as of yet."

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