St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin says Jamie McGrath will have ‘a number of options’ after a summer of links to Hibs, Watford and others ended with him staying in Paisley.
McGrath was subject of an 11th hour bid from Hibs on Deadline Day last month. Both Scottish Premiership clubs could not get the deal over the line while English clubs like Watford were linked with the St Mirren midfielder Goodwin has labeled as his ‘best player’ all summer. McGrath’s contract expires at the end of the season.
He will be available to sign a pre-contract elsewhere in January and his stock rose this week after two impressive performances for the Republic of Ireland. But Goodwin believes the situation surrounding McGrath could be of benefit.
Goodwin said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we managed to hold on to one of the best midfielders in the league. That can only be a positive for us. I would imagine, off the back of two really good performances last week for the Republic of Ireland, Jamie would have a number of other options available to him, both in January and next summer.
“There will be an offer on the table from us but we’re not stupid, we realise we don’t have the finances available to us that the likes of Hibs and some of the other teams down south have. For the time being, myself, the staff, the players and the supporters here will enjoy the benefit of having him here.
“Jamie, as I know only too well, will be the type of character who will knuckle down and get on with things and do his best for the team for as long as he’s here.”
Saints could cash in on McGrath in January as the risk of losing him for nothing rises, but Goodwin says it’s not the time to discuss such matters: “It’s too early to call at this moment as anything can happen between now and January. We want to give ourselves the best chance of winning games and we will decide on that when it comes to January.
“It is frustrating when clubs leave it to the last hour to force a move through. I don’t blame Hibs or any other club who came in with a last-minute offer. We are in a good position where we didn’t have to accept the offers that came in for Jamie. He’s committed as ever and his stock is only rising.”
St Mirren signed Connor Ronan on a season-long loan deal from Wolves at the end of the transfer window while Matt Millar has arrived after a spell at Newcastle Jets. Goodwin tried to get other deals over the line, but he explained: “There were other discussions and one or two didn’t fall into place as we would like.
“When you want to sign another player from another club, you aren’t in control. It’s a tricky business at times as you are waiting on sometimes three things to fall into place. But we have to be satisfied with the business we have done. I think we’ve had a really good window, we got a lot of our business done early. ”
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