Shut-out specialist Zander Clark has forced his way into the reckoning for a Scotland call-up.
Now the St Johnstone keeper is being linked with interest from Rangers and English Championship side Derby County.
Clark (26) set a new club shut-out record by posting six successive clean sheets earlier in the campaign and McDiarmid manager Tommy Wright has been braced for transfer speculation.
However, he revealed the Perth club are advancing talks designed to extend Clark’s stay beyond next summer.
“I don’t know where all this has come from,” said the Saints boss.
“There will be interest in Zander after the season he has had but at the minute no one has been in contact with the club.
“Sometimes nowadays the initial contact is through an agent but I’m sure if Rangers, Derby or anyone else want him they will speak to us directly.
“I sat down face-to-face with Zander and he told me he wanted to sign a new contract so that is the basis we are continuing to work on.
“He has had a very good season but he has to build on that if he wants to get to the very, very top.
“Zander knows that. He comes across as a confident lad but he is smart enough to know he still has a lot of hard work ahead of him.”
Wright, who has his sights set on nailing down seventh place in today’s clash with nearest rivals Motherwell, hopes Clark will follow top-rated defender Jason Kerr by committing to Saints on a new deal.
The Perth boss can’t believe Scotland under-21 cap Kerr wasn’t listed alongside Well duo Jake Hastie and David Turnbull for the end-of-season awards.
“Jason has had an outstanding season,” said Wright.
“I am just so glad the chairman (Steve Brown) and myself worked hard to get him tied down on a longer contract.
“He only turned 22 in February so I am amazed Jason didn’t get a nomination for young player of the year.
“He has been so consistent all season.”
With skipper and former Aberdeen target Joe Shaughnessy moving on, former Hearts kid Liam Gordon has been given game time alongside Kerr with an eye on next season.
“Liam and Jason have done well and are developing a good understanding,” said Wright.
“Both probably need to be a bit more vocal but that will come.
“We have been strong in that area all season.
“There’s not many teams that have two good young centre-backs.
“Jason and Liam have the attributes needed to become very, very good centre-halves.
“They both like a battle but are comfortable passing the ball when needed.
“Liam has been unlucky but the dialogue between us has always been there and he knew his chance would come.
“He trusts me in terms of how I have mapped out his future.
“Now he has to keep progressing and finish the season strongly.”
Weighing-up the final home game of the campaign, Wright said: “The motivation is quite simple for us. Win this one and we finish seventh.
“That is the focus we are taking into the game.
“We have dropped points with draws against St Mirren and Livingston due to late wonder strikes.
“Craig Halkett’s goal last week wasn’t so much a one in a hundred strikes but one in a thousand to find its way into the back of the net.
“We have to be seeing these games out but it is a younger squad and they will learn from these experiences.
“Players will learn to take more responsibility and show a bit more leadership.
“Motherwell have done unbelievably well since the January window and like us were pressing for a top six place.
“They were down at the bottom but went on an incredible run.
“So I am expecting a tight and tough game.
“We just have to go and win it.”
Winger Matty Kennedy and full-back Scott Tanser are available after training ground knocks but on-loan Queens Park Rangers midfielder Sean Goss has returned early to London.