St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin says contract discussions are ongoing with Aston Villa academy graduate Jake-Doyle Hayes as Ilkay Durmus leaves the club.

Doyle-Hayes has impressed since leaving Aston Villa for St Mirren last year but the Irish midfielder is pondering whether to extend his stay in Scotland. Dylan Connolly is likely to do that after his form in the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season while fans’ favourite Ilkay Durmus is set to depart after two seasons in Paisley.

Celtic v St. Mirren - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Durmus is leaving while the club are in talks with the former Aston Villa midfielder. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Goodwin says talks are well underway as he targets five new signings: “We have been speaking to agents for a number of months. We have been making contact with a number of people. You would like things to happen yesterday, but unfortunately there is a process.

“Those players we are linked with are good players and have other options with other clubs, so we just have to be a little bit patient. We are working tirelessly behind the scenes and we would probably like to add another five to the current squad. If we can get the ones I’ve identified in then we will be in a great position come the start of the season.

“Dylan enjoys it here and he has played some of the best football of his career last season in a number of games. I have a good working relationship with Dylan I think he sees the potential to develop here. He just needs to add a bit more consistency to his game for me, but yeah hopefully we will get that one over the line early next week.

St Mirren v St Johnstone - William Hill Scottish Cup

Hoping to get Connolly done. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Ilkay has decided that he wants to go home and it’s unlikely that he will be in Scotland at the start of next season. He certainly won’t be wearing a St Mirren strip unfortunately. He’s done great for me for the last couple of seasons and I wish him well wherever he ends up.”

Charles Dunne was announced as St Mirren’s first signing of the summer this week, following a four-year stint at Motherwell. He has not played since 2019 due to injury but Goodwin believes it’s a good acquisition: “I’m delighted to finally get Charles over the line. It’s one we’ve been working on for a number of months now.

“He’s had a number of other options on the table, but I’m delighted he sees his future here at St Mirren. We’ve been short of natural left-sided defenders in the last season and Charles plays that role really well.

Celtic v Motherwell - Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership

New Buddie. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“People might look at the last 12 months or so with the lack of game time that he’s had and that’s solely down to a bit of bad luck on the injury front. But he’s fully recovered now, and he’s done a thorough medical with our physio Kevin Bain so there’s absolutely no concerns with Charles’ fitness going forward.”

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