12 Premiership stars near free agent status & will attract rival clubs - Rangers ace, key Hearts, Hibs figures
There are nearly 100 Scottish Premiership players in the final months of their contract. It is set to make an interesting summer as some move on, while others could still stay put.
We pick out one player on an expiring deal from each team whose future will be of interest:
Andrew Considine - Aberdeen
Defensively, the Dons have given up far too many cheap goals this season. They have missed a reliable figure in the defence and Considine’s experience has been notable by its absence. The defender turns 35 before the end of the season and the club will certainly be looking to make improvements but he is the type of player required at the club and someone Jim Goodwin appears keen to keep hold of.
Karamoko Dembele - Celtic
The teenage starlet hasn’t quite lived up to the early hype and expectation. However, it has to be noted that he is still only 19, is a kid and has suffered from a knee issue this campaign. Ange Postecoglou recently spoke about the player’s future, stating a new deal will depend on the player. Celtic would likely look to extend his contract but he could opt to test himself elsewhere.
Charlie Adam - Dundee
There is no question Adam, across his two seasons at Dens Park, has made the team much better when he has been in the starting XI. Would he see his future at the club if they were relegated to the Championship? Would he consider retirement? Or would another Premiership side look to take advantage of his midfield ability?
Ian Harkes - Dundee United
Benjamin Siegrist will likely be the biggest miss with the assumption that he will depart in the summer. Harkes, meanwhile, has flitted between being solid, an important first-team player and a genuine matchwinner for United. This season has arguably been his best in a tangerine shirt and the club are keen on retaining his services.
Peter Haring - Heart of Midlothian
Haring developed into a key player when he first signed. Since a long-term injury he has fallen into an important member of the first-team squad. He has shown himself to be very useful in certain midfield situations. Intelligent, can switch play brilliantly and reads a game so well. But a new deal has not been forthcoming so far.
Paul McGinn - Hibernian
The business done by Hibs in the summer will be fascinating as Shaun Maloney looks to get a team in his own style. McGinn could be allowed to leave to free up wages to reinvest. But the defender has displayed how useful a player he is, able to play different positions within a back three or back four. If he departs there will be a number of clubs looking to sign him.
Alan Forrest - Livingston
There was a moment in the January transfer window where it looked like the winger could end up going to St Johnstone. Saints’ loss has very much been David Martindale and Livingston’s gain. The Livi boss has since spoken of his desire to keep the player. Forrest can score and assist and since the end of January he has three goals and two assists in the league. His versatility in attack would be of interest to many in the league.
Liam Donnelly - Motherwell
The Northern Irishman missed a chunk of the season through injury but brings balance to the Steelmen’s midfield in a deep role where he can patrol, press and pass. Is versatile and has chipped in with a number of goals. He could be one Stephen Robinson, who brought him to Fir Park, looks to add to his St Mirren side.
Allan McGregor - Rangers
Much attention will be on Connor Goldson, the club’s key centre-back. However, of greater interest is the future of the goalkeeping position at Ibrox. Back-up goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin has penned an extension but nothing yet for McGregor. The veteran keeper has not shown the consistency of last season but gave fans a reminder of his quality in the recent defeat to Celtic. Rangers have been linked with a move for Schalke 04 No.1 Martin Fraisl.
Regan Charles-Cook - Ross County
There has not been a more improved player in the Scottish Premiership than the Staggies winger. Last season saw underperformance, injury and no real consistency in the one position. He has been given a new lease of life under Malky Mackay and a clear idea of what is required of him. He is to attack the box when the ball’s on the winger wing, he’s to play high up and he’s to use his pace. All of that has brought 11 goals in the league. It is difficult to see the Staggies holding onto the Englishman beyond this campaign..
Jamie McCart - St Johnstone
The centre-back has almost been the inverse of Regan Charles-Cook. While the Ross County winger has been on an upward trajectory, McCart has gone the opposite. St Johnstone’s struggles have reflected his own and he’s not been as reliable, composed and ? as last campaign.
Conor McCarthy - St Mirren
The Buddies have a number of interesting names out of contract, including Jak Alnwick, Scott Tanser and Alan Power. However, in terms of age profile, McCarthy will be the one who the club will be keen to hold onto, while others in the league will see someone who can contribute straight away but also offering plenty of potential. The 23-year-old has only recently returned to the squad following injury but has displayed his defensive qualities, strength in the air as well as one the ground alongside Joe Shaughnessy across more than 70 appearances for St Mirren.
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