Ayr United's Ian McCall vows to keep squad together after bids rejected

Ayr United celebrate a goal by Lawrence Shankland (right)
Ayr have had bids for Liam Smith (second left) and Lawrence Shankland (right)

Manager Ian McCall says no Ayr United players will be sold this month unless they are immediately loaned back.

Right-back Liam Smith was the subject of a "derisory" bid - understood to be from Championship title rivals Dundee United - this week.

And there have also been offers by unnamed clubs for defender Michael Rose, top scorer Lawrence Shankland and strike partner Michael Moffat.

"No player will be leaving during this window," McCall said.

"The only type of deal acceptable to our club would involve an immediate loan back to Ayr United."

Ayr rejected interest from Dundee and English clubs to retain Shankland, 23, in the summer.

The former Aberdeen striker's 28 goals from 26 appearances have helped last season's promoted side become the nearest challengers to Championship leaders Ross County.

Another former Aberdeen trainee Rose, 23, former Hearts full-back Smith, 22, and 33-year-old Moffat are out of contract in the summer and able to negotiate with potential new employers during January.

However, McCall says Ayr's supporters "deserve to watch this special group of boys" stay at the club until the summer.

"There may be a number of our players being offered pre-contracts by other clubs," McCall said.

"I have absolutely no issue with this and I am 100% certain that any player who takes this option will continue to give everything to Ayr United.

"Though I will never give up hope of keeping our squad together at the end of the season, I recognise that there will be departures."

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