Two English clubs among full-time outfits pursuing Elgin City's Shane Sutherland in January window
THE January transfer window has opened up a flurry of interest from full-time clubs in Elgin City star striker Shane Sutherland.
Two unnamed English league sides have contacted the Borough Briggs club in an effort to land the front man, who has netted 22 goals for City this season.
North of the border, League 1 leaders Raith Rovers, who Sutherland scored against in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals, are believed to be one of the clubs keen to recruit the former Caley Thistle man.
Elgin manager Gavin Price says he is determined to keep his main marksman but the lure of full-time football could tempt him away.
“We are desperate to keep Shane, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “As you would expect there’s been plenty of interest from other teams, that was inevitable given the season he’s had.
“Although we are going to fight hard to keep him, which we are doing at the moment, he has made it clear that he probably wants to see what happens in this January window before he commits.
“I’ll be trying my best to keep him but I know the attraction for Shane is full-time football, one last crack at it probably, and I will be respectful of that as well.
“But I also want to get into that play-off position this year and it’s a no-brainer that he’s vital in our aim to do that.”
Sutherland (29) will make his 200th appearance for Elgin at Annan tomorrow, looking to add to his 94 goals scored in four separate spells for the club.
Price has already secured Sutherland’s strike partner Kane Hester on a two-year contract extension. Though there remains some uncertainty over Hester’s long-term ambitions after he was charged with alleged gambling offences earlier this season.
“I think it’s the first time in his career that Kane has had an extended run of games in the first team, and he’s improving all the time.”
The Elgin manager is eager to add to his squad for the second half of the season, as well as keeping Sutherland.
He is looking into loan options for a striker, and may make a move to sign Calum Wilson, who was on loan at City from Partick Thistle last season but would be available on a permanent transfer.
Efforts are on-going to extend Caley Thistle winger Daniel Mackay’s loan until the end of the season, though it is understood that the Inverness club may want Mackay to return as cover for recent injuries.
Price is also in talks with goalkeeper Tom McHale and centre back Stephen Bronsky about signing contract extensions, and is confident deals will be done.