St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin says Jamie McGrath’s rise has not come as a ‘shock’ to him, amid interest from the likes of Hibs and Watford.

The attacking midfielder – who scored 17 goals last season for the Scottish Premiership club – made his first start for the Republic of Ireland this week, providing an assist in a 2-1 defeat to Portugal. Hibs made a last-gasp bid to sign him on Deadline Day while Watford are reported to have made him a ‘target.’

Andorra v Republic of Ireland - International Friendly

McGrath has been linked with Hibs and Watford. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Goodwin says he’s pleased to keep him amid the interest (Sun): “I wasn’t anticipating losing him, but as usual the carry on starts on deadline day and then there was serious interest in him. I’m delighted he’s still here. Jamie would be well within his rights if he signed a pre-contract with another club in January.

“Equally, if someone comes in with an outrageous bid for him we’d need to decide what’s best for all concerned. Right now, we don’t need to worry too much about that. Ideally we’d like to tie him down on a long-term contract, but realistically, that’s not going to happen.

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