Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson expects there to be interest in his star players when the January transfer window opens at midnight.
Scouts from various clubs, including Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City, Brentford, Everton and Rangers, were in attendance at Tannadice for last Friday’s 1-1 derby draw against Dundee.
The main focus was on talisman Lawrence Shankland, who has been linked with QPR and Norwich, with young forward Louis Appere also reportedly a Canaries target.
The 24-year-old broke into the Scotland squad this season, netting during a tie against San Marino (see video below).
Boss Robbie is pleased they are attracting interest because it means they are performing well – and threw goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist and defenders Liam Smith and Jamie Robson into the same bracket.
However, the United boss was keen to stress their desire to hold onto key men for their final push towards promotion.
He said: “I would expect there to be interest in a number of our players because a lot of them have done very well this season.
“Lawrence is the obvious one because of his goals but the two young full-backs have done really well and the goalie has been outstanding, too.
“So I would imagine a number of clubs and other managers have been watching us.
“The chairman has stated all along that the most important thing is to be promoted so we can’t afford to be making too many changes in January.”
Robbie, however, conceded that everyone has their price if their resolve is tested.
He added: “Obviously in football, everyone has their price and clubs are selling clubs – even Celtic and Rangers fall into that bracket.
“That’s the business model of every club in Scotland, you give players the platform to play.
“Everyone’s got their price but the price of going up would outweigh what we’d get you’d imagine.
“There is pressure on players because of people watching them and speculation but you have to handle that as a footballer.
“I’d rather have that than sitting down the bottom of the table and having that negativity.”
Meanwhile, Robbie has dismissed reports they are interested in bringing St Mirren’s Stephen McGinn to Tannadice.