Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson is staying cool about the speculation surrounding hot property Lawrence Shankland.
Neilson insists transfer talk is not an issue at Tannadice.
Shankland, who has scored 19 times for club and once for country already this season, has been linked with Nottingham Forest and may have even more admirers following his next international stint.
The 24-year-old frontman will be looking to star for Scotland in their closing Euro 2020 qualifiers away to Cyprus and home to Kazakhstan and if he does then an already prize United asset will get even more valuable.
However, one man who seems relaxed about the rumours is Neilson.
The Tangerines’ boss said: “I don’t think there will be any bids getting entertained in January, that is for sure.
“The owner (Mark Ogren) was over last month and spoke about the importance of keeping Lawrence and making sure that we get ourselves out of this league.
“Every player has his price but the value of going up would heavily outweigh that, not just financially but also the prestige and with the fans. I expect him to be here at the start of February.
“Listen, if you have a guy who comes in and scores 19 goals in the first part of the season then there is going to be speculation.
“That’s the nature of football.
“I have spoken to Lawrence about it and he did have a little bit of that when he was at Ayr last year and dealt with it.
“At Dundee United, there are people looking at him now but there are other players in the team as well.
“Teams will be looking at them as well because we have a lot of good young players.”
Neilson believes Shankland has the right temperament and character to handle the rumours.
“I have been very impressed with him because you get some strikers who miss a chance and it affects them,” he said.
“Lawrence might miss one but he just gets the ball and goes in again.
“For me, that is a sign of a strong character who is going to be able to handle nonsense and negativity. We don’t have an issue with it.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that Lawrence will come back to us after doing exceptionally well again for Scotland duty and continue to score goals for us.
“We want Lawrence to go away and do really well – I’m sure he will.
“He has proven in the last two games against Russia and San Marino that he can definitely handle it at that level. He has scored as well so we are all delighted for him.”
What is good for Scots boss Steve Clarke – having Shankland to call upon – is not so good for Neilson, who will be without him for tomorrow’s home Championship clash against Queen of the South.
Indeed, the best he can hope for is catching some of the Cyprus match on TV as it kicks off an hour before United’s game.
However, the United gaffer is upbeat about his team’s ability to cope without him.
He added: “The reason we won’t have Lawrence in our team on Saturday is because he has done so well for us.
“That is not a negative thing.
“I would much rather that he did extremely well and we lost him for one game than for him not to be scoring goals like he has been all season.
“Now what we need is for players who get their opportunity take that opportunity and get themselves in the team.”
The absence of their talisman may be a bit of a blow but United are in excellent shape as they aim to reap some revenge on Queens for the 4-0 loss in Dumfries on October 19.
Following their 2-0 derby victory over Dundee at Dens, they are six points clear at the top of the division having won their last four matches without conceding a single goal.
Neilson said: “We had a great result and we were all delighted with Friday night.
“The boys enjoyed their weekend but as soon as they came in on Monday it was back to work.
“The focus was immediately on the Queen of the South game and what happened at Palmerston.
“Sometimes it can make your job harder after a big result like the derby because you have to make sure the players focus on the next game.
“It is really important that you don’t get carried away.
“You don’t want it to be a case of: ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show.’
“The most important thing for us is to keep picking up three points, whether that’s at Dens or at home to Queen of the South.
“It’s the same number of points you get for every victory and they all count at the end of the season.
“Therefore, you can’t record a great result and then, off the back of that, think the job is done.”
The Tangerines, meanwhile, have welcomed back central defender Troy Brown and midfielder Peter Pawlett to full training this week.