Jim Goodwin is adamant St Mirren are doing all they can to persuade star performer Jamie McGrath to stay at the club after making the player a club record contract offer.
The Buddies have not given up hope of holding onto the Republic of Ireland international, who has been a revelation since joining the Paisley outfit in January 2020.
McGrath has been attracting interest from several clubs, including fellow Scottish Premiership side Hibernian who failed in an audacious last-ditch summer deadline day move for the midfielder.
The 25-year-old, who made his fifth international cap in a friendly against Qatar on Tuesday, is in the final year of his deal with Saints.
Goodwin knows the odds are stacked against them but admits the club are pulling out all the stops to try and keep the former Dundalk player.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s match against Ross County in Dingwall, he said: “We’re all extremely proud of what Jamie has achieved in the last 18 months.
“I watched the first hour of the Ireland game against Qatar and Jamie was excellent again.
“He was taken down for the penalty and I said to him this morning I was disappointed he handed the ball over so easily because I’d have loved to have seen him step up and take that. I’ve no doubt he’d have put it into the next of the net.
“I did stress to Jamie over the summer not to be disappointed about that the moves didn’t happen because it might be a blessing in disguise.
“No disrespect to the clubs involved in the summer, but I believe come January there’ll probably be another six or seven really be clubs interested. That’s credit to Jamie.
“The kind of character he is, he could have thrown his toys out the pram when the deal wasn’t allowed to happen but he’s got on with things. He’s shown he’s willing to give his all for our jersey while he’s here.
“We’ve made an incredible offer to Jamie, we need to make that clear. We’ve made him an off we’ve never made a player in the history of the club.
“But we’re not stupid. We know he’s going to have numerous other offers and no doubt someone might come in and blow us out of the water.
“We want Jamie to know exactly what we think of him and reward him with a great contract. Whether he takes it or not, it’s up to him but our supporters need to know we’re not giving up hope just yet.”
Goodwin admits the international recognition McGrath has received during his time with St Mirren will prove hugely significant in the club’s recruitment plans going forward.
He added: “It makes my job a whole lot easier on the recruitment side of things and I have to give credit to Stephen Kenny.
“It takes a lot of bravery and courage as an international manager to look at clubs like our own. You’ve seen it so many times with the Scottish and English set ups.
“David Turnbull is a really good example because he was pulling up trees at Motherwell and was one of the best midfielders in the country and couldn’t get into the international set up.
“Then he moves to Celtic and a week later he’s a Scotland international.
“The fact Jamie is getting the international recognition he deserves is fantastic for him and it’s great inspiration for some of the younger players within our group as well.
“Our younger player need to have that aspiration to really kick on and take their careers to the next level and Jamie has done that.
“He’s a great example that if you train hard, listen and learn and you’re willing to develop then you can do that here at St Mirren.”
Meanwhile, St Mirren youngster Dylan Reid has been called up to Brian McLaughlin’s Scotland under-17 squad for their Euro Qualifying Round.
The midfielder will be eager to impress during games against Northern Ireland, Albania and Italy later this month and early November.