Stevie May has agreed terms to extend his stay with hometown team St Johnstone.
The news provides manager Callum Davidson with a timely boost ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter final clash with Rangers at Ibrox.
The striker’s signature might not yet be on the formal documentation but the 28-year indicated that’s now a formality.
And May, who returned to McDiarmid Park two years ago after spells with Aberdeen, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End, would love to add another cup medal to this term’s Betfred Cup gong and the one from 2014, when the Perth side saw-off Dundee United in the final.
“Talks are progressing well and I don’t imagine there being any issues there,” revealed May.
“I am hopeful that I will be sticking around. I was born in Perth and I love it here.
“I have had my most successful times in football here and won trophies.
“I have been here since I was a kid. Everything like the Astroturf to the changing rooms is just so familiar to me and there are familiar faces everywhere.
“I really enjoy coming to work.
“It was nice to go full circle and to come back and win the trophy, the other cup in Scotland, was pretty special.”
While Steven Gerrard’s champions haven’t lost to a Scottish side on home turf this term, May insists Saints will take confidence from an impressive 1-1 midweek performance against Rangers, with Liam Craig’s last-gasp spot-kick boosting their hopes of overtaking Livingston to claim fifth place.
And while Gers are odds-on favourites, the centre admits thoughts of an historic cup double aren’t being dismissed around McDiarmid.
“You can think about it. We have had a little joke now and then about doing the double,” said May.
“But obviously there is a lot to go between now and that – and the biggest challenge of all is Sunday.
“Someone else has knocked Rangers out in the last two cups we have won so we will have a go at being that team this time.
“We know it is going to be tough but you see upsets all the time in cup competitions – and this would be one of the bigger ones.
“Nobody is really giving us a hope but we will formulate a plan that we think is the best to give us a chance to win the game.
“We will give it everything. It feels almost like, not a free hit, but nobody is expecting anything from us and we have already won the other cup.
“Let’s just have a go, work hard and we will see where we end up.
“It was good to get something out of the midweek game because we definitely felt we deserved it.
“We wanted to go out and get after them and put them on the back foot.
‘We certainly did that – we managed to pin them in for 15 minutes or so and we did get some really good chances.
“It was a little bit disappointing not to get the goal then to give ourselves something to hold onto but we can take real positives from it.
“We’re going to need something similar and a bit more and a couple of bits of luck to go our way.
“But we’re confident. Another good performance and we’ll see what happens.”
May, like thousands of Perth supporters, has fond memories of a semi-final Ibrox win over Aberdeen seven years ago, when he netted a double en route to the cup win under Tommy Wright.
“That was a really special day. It’s been a good place for me.
“The goals stand out, as do the fans. It’s disappointing they won’t be there on Sunday but hopefully soon we’ll get back to that and it’s something to really look forward to if we progress.
“As a club, we have had success there before. We’ll have a go and hopefully it can get us into the next round of the cup.
“It will take a performance of the same magnitude of that day.
“We know how successful Rangers have been this season.
“Especially with them being at home, it’s going to be a really tough ask.
“But if you ever want to do it, it’s in a cup. It’s a one-off game so just have a go and see what we can do.”
Gerrard might be favourite to claim the Manager of the Year accolade after running away with the title and impressing on the European stage.
But May reckons Perth boss Davidson must be a contender for his achievements in his first season as a manager.
“I don’t think you could have imagined a better start as a manager, coming in and doing what he’s done, implementing a new formation and style of play on a team.
“We have shown improvement throughout the season and, even now, we are still improving.
“To win a cup, be top six and still in another cup, he’s probably thinking ‘this is a dream start’.”
Israeli striker Guy Melamed, who has netted seven times since breaking into the team, posed problems for Gers in midweek before being forced off with a migraine.
Chris Kane – who has been around McDiarmid almost as long as May – will also be in Davidson’s thoughts for the cup tie.
“Guy is a great finisher who has done extremely well,” said May.
“I like playing with a partner up there, whether it’s Kano or Guy.
“The one thing is we work hard for each other and we want each other to do well.
“Guy has done extremely well. It was disappointing that he had to go off on Wednesday. I hope he’s alright.”