Former Dundee United defender Gary Bollan is backing Gary Mackay-Steven to handle being a pre-contract signing for Celtic.
Mackay-Steven is the subject of an official approach from the Hoops to discuss joining them in the summer when his Tannadice contract ends.
If there is agreement between him and the champions then that will mean he will play out the remainder of the season with the Tangerines.
With Jackie McNamara’s men and Celtic both battling it out for the three domestic trophies – Premiership, Scottish Cup and League Cup – that would mean Mackay-Steven lining up for his current club against his future one.
Bollan believes that won’t be a problem.
The Airdrie boss, who was at the Dundee Science Centre to pick up his Division One manager of the month award for December, has seen enough and heard enough of the winger to be confident that he will easily be able to give his all to the Tangerines.
“Gary is a fantatsic talent and on his day as good as anybody in Scotland to watch,” said Bollan.
“Indeed, I don’t know if you will see a better wide player in the country than Mackay-Steven on his day.
“He has pace and an abundance of skill.
“He started off at Airdrie and I would assume people who knew him from that time are proud of what he has achieved.
“Then Peter Houston took him to Tannadice and I remember some people were saying he was taking a wee chance.
“But if it ever was a gamble it has paid off.
“He has been a great servant to United in the time he has been there and I am sure, wherever he goes now, that he will carry that on.
“I have also listened to Gary when he has spoken to TV and he seems like a laid-back character so he will be taking all this is his stride.
“Things don’t seem to bother him and that kind of mentality will help him deal with this.
“I have never had any doubt that every player in Scotland goes out to do his best for his team at all times.
“I am sure Gary will be doing just that if he does remain at United for the rest of the season.
“He will give 100% to the club and the fans.”
Of course, having a player still on the books when he has agreed to join another is not unusual nowadays.
Indeed, United have experienced it recently with Jon Daly (Rangers) and Willo Flood (Aberdeen) among others.
Bollan also feels that, although they will lose him for nothing in the summer, Mackay-Steven will be valuable asset until then if the Hoops do land him on a pre-contract.
“The value of Gary to United until the season may be greater than any cash figure they could get for him,” said Bollan.
“I am sure that’s the way Jackie will be looking at it.
“They will have him available for a wee push towards the end of the season and let’s remember they are still in all three competitions.
“United had a good result at New Douglas Park on Monday there and I have noticed in Jackie’s comments that he is looking for them to be more consistent, especially away from home.
“They are great to watch and in the first half against Hamilton the other night their movement and passing from middle to front was excellent, with Mackay-Steven playing his part in that.
“They can cause anyone problems on their day and it is just about having belief that they can win those tricky away games.”
Bollan knows all about moving to one of the Old Firm, having joined Rangers from United in January 1995 along with Alex Cleland in a deal reportedly worth £750,000.
The Dundee-born Diamonds boss, who returned to Tannadice for a second spell in 2003, knows there will be pressure on Mackay-Steven.
“You were expected to win week in, week out no matter what at Rangers then and it is the same for Celtic,” he said.
“That is the expectation that is put on you.”