Peter Grant has confirmed that Dunfermline are running the rule over former Sheffield Wednesday youngster Isaac Rice.
Rice, 20, captained the youth side at Hillsborough and made one senior appearance, entering the fray as a late substitute in the Owls’ 2-0 FA Cup win over Exeter in January.
He is a free agent after being released by Wednesday last month and is seeking to win a deal with the Pars, who are keen to secure defensive reinforcements following the departure of club captain Euan Murray.
“Isaac is up [in Scotland] and he has looked very good in training,” revealed Grant.
“We have been delighted with the way that he has gone about his business. He has given himself the best chance with the shape he is in, and shown that hunger to get up here.
“We know that [centre-back] is a position that we need to strengthen. I also like balance if possible, with a left-footer on the left-hand side — and they are not easy to come by. Isaac comes into that bracket.”
Asked whether there is a contract offer on the table for Rice, Grant was coy.
“It is up to him to grab that, he has got the opportunity — he is in the building,” he added. “I know his footballing ability is there. You just need to see what he is like in the group; what is he like as a character? Does he mix with everyone?”
Grant has already made his first signing of the summer, snapping up Nikolay Todorov mere days after the departure of Declan McManus to The New Saints.
And the Pars boss candidly suggested that doubts were put in his mind regarding McManus’ future in Fife when the players’ agent informed him of the interest from Wales.
“When I came in there was talk that Declan’s agent had been on the phone telling us about interest in him,” Grant continued. “That put some doubt in my mind right away.
“I want people who are committed and — while I am absolutely not saying that Declan wasn’t committed — when I get agents on the phone, that sets alarm bells off for me.”
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Hailing Todorov’s arrival, Grant added: “What I like about Nikolay is that he is an old-fashioned centre-forward.
“He gives us balance. We have got people who can run, people who can come short and people with that physicality as well. That is what I am trying to do with the group.