St Mirren manager Jack Ross will cull several of his Championship-winning squad and admits he’s hoping Hibs sell Scotland midfielder John McGinn this summer to help fund his rebuilding job.
When the now 23-year-old McGinn left the Buddies after their relegation from the top tier in 2015, Hibs paid only a development fee but the Paisley club are thought to be entitled to 30 per cent of any fee should he move on from Easter Road. McGinn’s impressive form this season has attracted interest from England.
Ross said: “That would be the magic one for the board.
“As we have [John’s older brother] Stephen, the board have been asking him a lot about what’s happening. Which is only natural, because there is an advantage to us if John moves for the significant sum that his ability merits. That’s something that could help us further down the line.”
The PFA Scotland Manager of the Year, who took Saints from the brink of relegation to promotion to the Premiership in 18 months will have to jettison more of the players who helped him achieve that feat.
Stelios Demetriou, Massimo Donati, Darryl Duffy, Nathan Flanagan, Gary Irvine, John Sutton, Josh Todd and Darren Whyte have already been told their contracts will not be extended and Ross added: “The turnover of squads is much bigger now just with the nature of the game.
“[Assistant manager] James Fowler and I built a squad to win the Championship; now we’ve got to create one which we feel can be competitive in the Premiership. It’s not just a squad to stay in the league, it’s one that can be progressive and that requires different types in different areas.
“Part of the challenge is to get that right. It doesn’t matter how good the coach and manager are as, ultimately, it’s your players who make you.
“We’ll set realistic ambitions. Surviving in the league for me is realistic but it’s not ambitious. This season our target was to win the league.
“If you set players an unrealistic target they won’t buy into it but if you set a big one they think ‘We can get there’.”