IAN McCALL admits Partick Thistle are bracing themselves for more offers for Zak Rudden after an approach from St Johnstone was booted out earlier this week.
Rudden, 21, moved to the Jags from Rangers two years ago and has seven league goals to his name so far this term – making the striker the joint fourth-top scorer in the Championship – and that form has caught the eye of multiple top-flight clubs. Premiership strugglers St Johnstone have already had an approach rebuffed.
McCall revealed that numerous bids for Rudden, whose contract expires at the end of the season, have been knocked back recently and while the Thistle manager is hopeful of retaining the Scotland Under-21 internationalist, he accepts that more offers are likely to follow.
However, McCall is adamant that Rudden will not be allowed to depart Firhill this month unless the club’s valuation of the energetic forward is met.
“There have been two or three bids from other clubs as well as St Johnstone but nothing that I would look at,” said McCall. “Ultimately it won’t be my decision, it will be the board’s, but they will take my advice.
“There’s nothing that we would think about right now. [The interest in Rudden] is certainly more than the clubs that have been mentioned but there have been offers made. These things tend to heat up, don’t they? But we are hopeful he will still sign a new deal to stay here.
“We will be doing all we can to keep him but I have been in football a long time and I know how quickly things can change. It’s a fluid situation so we just have to wait and see what happens.
“Anything that has come in we have turned down but we will have to see what comes in the next few weeks.”
Admiring glances from interested suitors can sometimes lead to a player’s head being turned and their focus being pulled away from matters on the park, but McCall is convinced that Rudden will give his all for Thistle while he remains on the books at Firhill.
And while he doesn’t consider Rudden the finished article, the Jags boss understands the recent flurry of interest in the centre-forward.
“Zak always does his best on the pitch and that won’t change,” he added. “That’s where he gets his release from everything. He still has to find a level of consistency and he is a young player.
“He played at Kilmarnock when we won 1-0 [at Rugby Park] and he played really well. If anyone had watched him that day they would have put a bid in after the game – he was that good.
“But he has other performances when he still isn’t quite as good. We know he still has a lot to learn but he is a finisher and they tend to attract attention.”