Dundee are taking steps to head off interest in Jack-of-all-trades Mark O’Hara by fixing him up on a new contract.
But frozen-out goalkeeper Scott Bain could be on his way out of Dens Park when the transfer window opens in a fortnight.
Twenty-two-year-old O’Hara is out of contract at the end of the season and that’s alerted several clubs.
The Dark Blues, though, are determined to hang on to the former Kilmarnock man whose four goals in the last five games, including one in Saturday’s vital win over Partick, have played a big part in a recent revival for Neil McCann’s team.
Motherwell are reported to be keen to use some of the £500,000 they’re getting from Preston for striker Louis Moult to land him on a pre-contract.
That won’t happen if Neil gets his way. He’s told the player he wants him on a new deal and talks are set to continue over the festive period.
“I spoke to Mark a wee while ago and he knows how important he is to us,” said the gaffer.
“To have a player of that versatility you can actually move into different positions is great.
“You never get a moan from him and you don’t ever get a performance where he looks out of place.
“I’m trying to build something here and I want him to be part of it.”
The same can’t be said for goalie Bain who has not featured since a bust up with the manager after the home league defeat to Hamilton in October.
The 26-year-old was disciplined over that but appealed a club fine and the matter has still to be resolved.
He is also out of contract at the end of the season and, having previously expressed a desire to move on, the obvious solution would be a move next month. Hearts, his boyhood favourites, are showing an interest and there has to be a possibility Celtic could also come in.
They’ve been linked with him in the past and, with No 1 Craig Gordon’s form under the spotlight after several gaffes this term, Bain could provide the solution.
Dundee have already taken steps to replace him and have taken Frenchman Jeremy Malherbe on an extended trial.
New No 1 Elliott Parish has also impressed since coming in.
“Elliott has given us a lot of confidence at the back. That’s three clean sheets and he talks all the time to the defenders,” added Neil.