Dundee's Paul Hartley denies big-spending claims over duo

Danny Williams and James Vincent
Danny Williams and James Vincent won the Scottish Cup with Caley Thistle

Manager Paul Hartley has denied claims that Dundee have offered Danny Williams and James Vincent much more money than their present club, Inverness.

Caley Thistle manager John Hughes had admitted that Dundee have made the midfielders pre-contract offers to switch to Dens Park next season.

"Dundee are not paying any more money than anybody else," said Hartley.

"I don't know where John is getting his information from, but it's certainly wrong. That's laughable."

Winger Williams, 28, previously of Kendal Town, and fellow Englishman Vincent, 26, formerly of Kidderminster Harriers, both arrived at Caledonian Stadium in 2013.

They helped Caley Thistle win the Scottish Cup in May, but Hartley described suggestions that Dundee had made offers that Inverness could not afford as "way beyond the mark".

Hughes has not given up hope of persuading the pair to remain in Inverness.

However, asked to confirm if Dundee had made contact with the duo, he joked: "That's 100% right and I'm going to drive them down there this moment because, for the money Dundee are offering, I would be down there signing for it too.

John Hughes and Paul Hartley
John Hughes and Paul Hartley are at odds over the terms offered for Caley Thistle's midfield duo

"That's just part and parcel of the game. Who says we're not talking to players, that we don't have one or two pre-contracts signed up ourselves?

"One thing I will say is that I don't think we can match the finances that - if what I am hearing is true - Dundee are wanting to give the players."

Hughes also warned the pair that, if they do want to remain in the Highlands, they both need to prove their desire to him before he asks the Caley Thistle board to release the extra funds that might persuade them to sign on again.

Williams has been an almost ever-present this season, but Vincent has made only 16 appearances and has not played since 2 January.

"For Danny Williams to stay here, he has to show us it's not all money motivated," added Hughes. "If it is the case that he wants to be here then it gives us a wee half nudge to try and keep him.

"In James Vincent's case, he has to get himself back playing. He's not had the best of seasons in terms of injuries.

"But right in this moment in time he has to get himself back playing before I can go clear it with the board that Vinny deserves another contract. He has to go and earn it.

"Hopefully they will be here next year, but if not, football evolves and we keep just moving on."