Motherwell ‘open talks’ with Partick Thistle striker Zak Rudden, while Shea Gordon leaves Firhill on loan

The Jags have already rejected bids from St Johnstone for Rudden but the Steelmen are now launching an approach

Scottish Premiership side Motherwell have opened talks with Partick Thistle striker Zak Rudden over a pre-contract.

The 21-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has scored ten goals in all competition so far this season.

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Steelmen boss Graham Alexander wants to bring Rudden to Fir Park for next season as a replacement for Tony Watt.

Zak Rudden celebrates scoring the opening goal in Partick Thistle's title-clinching rout of Falkirk at Firhill. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

However, the Jags would be entitled to compensation as he is under 24 and the Lanarkshire outfit will not commit until given the green light by the Firhill club to start discussions.

St Johnstone have already have offers knocked back for the former Rangers academy youngster this month but Thistle boss Ian McCall confirmed the bids were well below their valuation of the player.

If an agreement is met for the summer, it remains to be seen whether Motherwell will make a move to bring Rudden in during this window.

That may be dependant on if ex-Celtic frontman Watt departs for Dundee United after he agreed to a pre-contract switch.

The Tangerines are keen to finalise a deal that would see him head to Tannadice now and if that were to happen then Well could step up their pursuit to land Rudden.

Meanwhile, Shea Gordon has left Firhill to join league rivals Queen of the South on loan until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old, who arrived at Thistle, initially on loan in 2019, has gone on to make 76 appearances in his time with the Maryhill club.

Andrew Stirling and Kyle Jacobs of Queen of the South battle with Partick's Shea Gordon during a Championship clash. Picture: SNS Group

Gordon and was an important member of last season League One title success, starting every game bar one during the promotion-winning campaign.

The midfielder has been limited to a bit-part role this term, making the majority of his 12 appearances from the bench and scoring once in the 4-0 rout of Ayr United at Somerset Park in November.

He will now head down to Dumfries in order to gain more regular game-time but Thistle boss Ian McCall insisted that doesn’t mean his time in Glasgow’s West End is over.

He said: “The competition for places in midfield is incredibly strong this season and Shea has found it hard to get into the team this year.

“He is a player with plenty of ability, which he showed for us last season, but he’s at an age where he wants to be playing more regularly than he currently is.

“Shea has never given less than 100% since I’ve arrived back at Firhill whether that’s in training, when coming off the bench or filling in at right-back.

“This loan move doesn’t mean his time here at Thistle is over so hopefully he goes out and plays plenty of football and then we can speak to him again about his situation in the summer.”

Thistle are back in Championship action this evening when they play host to Kilmarnock in front of just 500 fans, with kick-off at 7.45pm.