STUART McCALL, the Motherwell manager, yesterday quelled speculation that defender Shaun Hutchinson has been contacted by Rangers regarding a summer move to Ibrox.
Ally McCoist admitted this week that he has spoken to "two players" about joining the club for the SPFL Championship campaign, with Hutchinson and Kenny McLean, the St Mirren midfielder, reported to be the targets in question.
Both players are out of contract at the end of the season and have each been linked with moves away in the past; an offer from an English club in the Sky Bet Championship of around £250,000 was turned down by Motherwell in August 2012. A move to Rangers would not entail a transfer fee but McCall is unconvinced that McCoist had been referring to his defender this week since he had received no contact from the Rangers manager. They were once team-mates at Ibrox and have spoken to one another about players in the past.
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"Ally has come out and said he's already spoken to a couple of players, but I would be surprised if Hutch was one of them," said McCall. "Not because Ally wouldn't be interested in him, but I would have thought he would have spoken to me about him. Ally has spoken to me about our players before. I'm talking about since I've been at the club, not this season.
"Likewise, when I was first in the job I would ask him about a young lad they had at their place - maybe [Andrew] Little a couple of years ago. That sort of thing happens but Ally has not spoken to me about any of our players this season."
McCall will meet with club chief executive Leeann Dempster next week to discuss the future of those players out of contract in the summer - a list which also includes Steven Hammell, Stephen McManus and Craig Reid - and the budget he will have to convince them to stay. It is understood that the manager will offer a new deal to Hutchinson too, though his agent has intimated that the 23-year-old intends to move on.
"But Shaun hasn't knocked back anything because we haven't offered him anything yet," McCall added.