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St Johnstone must keep transfer focus after bids knocked back for Zak Rudden and Robbie Deas, says Callum Davidson

St Johnstone have had bids knocked back for Zak Rudden and Robbie Deas.
St Johnstone have had bids knocked back for Zak Rudden and Robbie Deas.

Championship duo Partick Thistle and Inverness Caledonian Thistle were reluctant to do business when St Johnstone lodged bids for two stars of the SPFL’s second tier.

But Perth boss Callum Davidson insisted there will be no panic at McDiarmid Park as Saints seek to complete their January recruitment.

Offers for Partick striker Zak Rudden and Inverness centre-back Robbie Deas have been knocked back.

And, with two weeks left before deadline day and three new players already snapped up, Davidson stressed the importance of maintaining a “controlled thought process”.

“I think it’s about being shrewd in the market to improve the team and make the starting 11 stronger,” he said.

“That will make sure the players here step-up and are right at it as well.

“I’m not panicking about it. You have to have a controlled thought process when you are looking at players.

“We have got three in (Dan Cleary, Anthony Gallacher and Nadir Ciftci) with Charlie (Gilmour) and Jacob (Butterfield) as well.

“I would have liked one or two more by this point but January is a very tough window.

“We’re working really hard behind the scenes to get quality players through the door.

“The really tough part of it is getting players who can hit the ground running.

“You see players who haven’t played for six months.

“We aren’t really in a position to wait for them to get up to speed.

“I have belief in the players I have got here.

“They proved their quality last season. The new players coming in will help them return to the form we know they are capable of.”

Rudden latest

On Rudden, who is also on Motherwell’s radar, Davidson said: “They (Partick) came out and said we’d put an offer in for Zak.

“He’s a player I’ve liked for a long time. He’s got great movement in the box and gives you a goal threat.

St Johnstone have had a bid knocked back for Zak Rudden.
St Johnstone have had a bid knocked back for Zak Rudden.

“Whether a deal is possible, we don’t know.

“They turned it down so as far as I’m aware the deal isn’t there at the moment.”

Regarding Deas, who has a season-and-a-half on his contract with Caley Thistle, Davidson added: “He’s a player I like.

“I don’t particularly like speaking about players who aren’t ours.

“He’s one of numerous targets we’re looking at to make the squad better.”

Inverness boss Billy Dodds said after his team’s weekend draw with Queen of the South: “I don’t think the amount that was published is quite correct, but there has been a bid turned down.

“I don’t know if they will come back. I’d be guessing.

“Robbie is a big part of it for us. We have been solid defensively and the back four have been good all season.”

Niklas Gunnarsson

Saints have also been linked with versatile Norwegian defender, Niklas Gunnarsson, who is a free agent after his contract with Stromsgodset came to an end.

The 30-year-old had a short loan with Hibs in 2016, which culminated in him winning the Scottish Cup.

Gunnarsson is predominantly a centre-back.

As with loan defenders Lars Dendoncker and Reece Devine, Hayden Muller has returned to his parent club.

The circumstances are different on this occasion, though.

“Hayden was one we wanted to keep,” said Davidson.

“Millwall were struggling with injuries and recalled him, which was a bit of a blow.

“I thought there was more to come from Hayden.

“That’s the chance you take with loan players. It’s like us with Charlie at Alloa.”

Meanwhile, as of Sunday, Saints were still waiting on clearance to play Nadir Ciftci against Hearts.

St Johnstone midfielder Craig Bryson needs ankle operation and will be out for up to 8 weeks

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