AYR United swooped yesterday to sign striker Gary Teale in a #70,000 deal from Clydebank.

In a move described by Bankies manager Ian McCall as ''a Christmas bargain in October,'' Teale has signed a three-year deal with the Somerset Park club.

McCall said: ''How I wish I was with a club who could afford to spend money like this. We have had to sell Gary at a bargain price.

''He is going to be an outstanding player and if we could have held onto him we would have been able to sell him for an astronomical figure in a couple of years' time.''

Teale indicated that if it had not been for the financial uncertainty at Clydebank he would not have moved.

''I am delighted to get this chance. But I am moving simply because of the security.

''The boss, Gordon Chisholm, and Steve Morrison and all the lads have been great. There is a great team spirit here. But no-one knows what is happening with late wages and bonuses not paid.

''I am ambitious and I want to play in the Premier league. I hope that is with Ayr.''

Teale is included in the Ayr squad to face St Mirren today.

St Mirren manager Tony Fitzpatrick commented: ''The lad is a good player. It's amazing how many clubs go into the transfer market just before playing us.''

Saints expect to be without the injured Hugh Murray, Steve Watson, Colin Drew, Junior Mendes, Tommy Turner and Tom Brown.

Fitzpatrick said: ''That's quite a catalogue. However it is up to those who are involved to play as hard as they have been and get the points.''

BOOKIES' VIEW: St Mirren 4-5, Ayr United 3-1, draw 9-4.