Ian McCall has revealed Partick Thistle have already turned down offers for Zak Rudden after Premiership strugglers St Johnstone joined the race to sign the in-demand striker.
The former Rangers academy starlet has scored eight goals in 23 games for the promotion-chasing Jags and has formed a lethal partnership with Brian Graham up front so far this season.
Rudden’s impressive form have caught the attention of several clubs, including Callum Davidson’s Saints, who have been lacking in goals all season due to injuries to key players.
The top-flight’s basement boys have netted just 11 times in 20 domestic outings this term and Rudden is viewed as a potential target to help bolster their attacking options.
The 21-year-old’s contract is up at the end of the season and he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club from today as the January transfer window opens.
Rudden, who is also reportedly interesting English League Two outfit Carlisle United, came through the youth ranks at Ibrox and has successful loan spells with Falkirk and Plymouth Argyle before joining Thistle in January 2020.
Firhill boss McCall is desperate to keep hold of the Scotland Under-21 international with the club having tabled a contract extension to extend his stay with Thistle.
McCall, who has been linked with a move for Gers youngster James Maxwell, has previously stated Rudden possesses all the “right attributes” to play at the top level.
Speaking on the eve of the transfer window opening, he said: “There have been two or three bids from other clubs as well as St Johnstone but nothing that I would look at.
“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. It 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.
“Zak always does his best on the pitch and that won’t change. 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 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.”
Partick currently sit fifth in the Scottish Championship, just six points off pole position and host Morton on Sunday in their quest to achieve back-to-back promotions.