Dundee managing director John Nelms has flown to Spain to make top target Jack Ross Dundee’s next manager.
With St Mirren refusing permission for the Dark Blues to speak to their boss and Ross away on a family holiday, as recently as last night it appeared no talks would take place until next week at the earliest.
However, with a clause in Ross’s contract with the Paisley club allowing him to speak to other potential employers so long as they are prepared to stump up £20,000 compensation, Dundee are pressing ahead with their bid to get their man.
And the Tele understands if all goes to plan a face-to-face meeting between Ross and Nelms will have taken place yesterday.
That is sure to anger St Mirren, whose chairman Gordon Scott bluntly knocked back a request from Dens to open talks.
“We have emailed Dundee telling them that Jack is under contract and we won’t be giving them permission to speak to him about their vacancy.
“That is the end of it as far as we are concerned,” was how Scott put it.
Unfortunately for him that is not an “end to it” so far as Dundee are concerned.
They are satisfied Ross wants to return to the club where his career kicked off as a youth player 25 years ago.
That’s why Nelms headed to Spain for those face-to-face talks.
And it’s understood Dundee’s American owners are willing to pay big bucks to get their man.
Ross will triple his current salary by moving to Dens but, more importantly for him, he will be given a sizeable budget to rebuild a team that only just stayed out of the Premiership’s bottom two this season.
He will also be given complete control of team matters and have freedom to do things his way.
That is likely to see him bring his No 2 at St Mirren, James Fowler, with him.
Fowler teamed up with Ross in Paisley last October and previously enjoyed success as manager at Queen of the South.
All that said, St Mirren will not take the attempt to lure Scottish football’s hottest young managerial property away from them.
It’s believed they are putting together a package to persuade Ross to stay where he is.
That will include a salary hike and an improved signing budget, though in both cases the money involved will fall well short of what Dundee are offering.
Meanwhile, in a pre-emptive strike in case Ross is not the next boss at Dens, Ross County have made clear they would not welcome any approach for their gaffer, Jim McIntyre.
Staggies owner Roy McGregor has said there has been no approach from Dens to speak to McIntyre and, if there was to be one, it would be rebuffed.