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This summer's out of contract Premiership players

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hislopsoffsideagain

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So there's only, what, three months of the season left? We're getting to that time where managers are beginning to think of who will be in next season's squad, where some players are either getting their agents to try and get them a move or panicking that they might be unemployed by the end of May.

Going by the information available, 117 players with first team experience are out of contract in the summer. Let's break them, and their likely fates, down...


ABERDEEN
Luc Bollan, Tomas Cerny, Danny Rogers, Frank Ross

The future of Cerny and Rogers depends largely on what the Dons are looking for in a no. 2 keeper next season. It wouldn't be a surprise if the former, 35 in April, stayed on. Rogers is on his gazillionth loan spell and surely if he had a future in the North East he'd have got a crack by now. Injuries have restricted Ross to just four games in the last season and a half and it would take an enormous show of faith in his potential for him to be given another deal. Youngster Bollan hasn't got anywhere near the first team since arriving last summer from Dundee United.


CELTIC
Craig Gordon, Jonny Hayes, Calvin Miller, Stephen Welsh

It seems like Gordon, 37, is agitating for one last go at first team football given there was talk of him moving on in January. Hayes is now the wrong side of 30 and attempts to convert him into a full-back have not been successful enough to justify keeping him on; it would be no surprise if he joined another Premiership club though. Miller has missed the whole season with a knee injury and Celtic have a habit of giving youngsters contract extensions if only so that they can get a small fee and/or a perecentage of future transfer fees from selling them later; that should mean a new contract for both him and Welsh, who made his debut last month after a 'meh' loan spell at Morton earlier in the season.


HAMILTON ACCIES
Steve Davies, Markus Fjortoft, Alex Gogic, Kyle Gourlay, Ronan Hughes, Scott Martin, Aaron McGowan, Mickel Miller, Reegan Mimnaugh, David Moyo, George Oakley, Marios Ogkmpoe, George Stanger, David Templeton, Andy Winter

A caveat first: Accies are worse than anyone - except maybe Ross County - for keeping contract lengths secret. Why? I have no idea. A few years back the then-club secretary, Scott Struthers, would happily respond to email requests for info, but that was then and this is now. So it's possible that Owain Fon Williams, Johnny Hunt and Blair Alston should be on this list, but in the last few years players whose contract details have not been disclosed have usually been given two year contracts by Hamilton.


As for those on the list, the first question is 'who might attract a bigger club?' The only two names that jump out there are Alex Gogic and David Templeton. Moreover, with the club's top flight status likely to go down to the wire there are not likely to be many extensions on the horizon for anyone and relegation will obvious affect the budget. Those most likely to move on regardless would be veteran backup striker Davies, youngster Hughes who hasn't fulfilled his potential and third choice keeper Gourlay.


HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN
Donis Avdijaj, Daniel Baur, Oliver Bozanic, Jamie Brandon, Rory Currie, Clevid Dikamona, Euan Henderson, Marcel Langer, Cammy Logan, Steven MacLean, Leeroy Makovora, Lewis Moore, Alex Petkov

Several of these names are youths who have only a handful of first-team minutes. Henderson and Moore have been in the first team frame in recent weeks and so would surely be candidates for new deals. In contrast, injury-prone Levein favourite Brandon may not be so fortunate. 

Of those more senior, Avdijaj and Langer are only a few weeks into short-term deals so can't really be judged, whilst MacLean is on loan at Raith and so surely won't play for the club again. Bozanic and Dikamona are squad players who the club really should be looking to upgrade on.


HIBERNIAN
Adam Bogdan, Vykintas Slivka, Steven Whittaker

With a list this small, Jack Ross' main concern will be shifting the deadwood that's still under contract. Whittaker wants to keep playing but he's 36 next summer and surely won't get another deal. Bogdan might stay if both he and the club are happy with him being number two keeper. One wonders if Slivka might benefit from a fresh start elsewhere.


KILMARNOCK
Harry Bunn, Chris Burke, Gary Dicker, Mohamed El Makrini, Adam Frizzell, Stephen Hendrie, Greg Kiltie, Jan Koprivec, Jamie MacDonald, Devlin Mackay, Rory McKenzie, Ross Millen, Stephen O'Donnell, Iain Wilson

Of this quite long list, only O'Donnell could realistically leave for a bigger club. He'll be 28 in May and it'll surely be his last big contract. It'll be interesting to see if Killie finally choose to cut loose any of Kiltie, Wilson and Frizzell, all highly-touted youngsters who have failed to make the expected progress. At the other end of the age spectrum Burke is in wonderful shape for 36 but surely doesn't have much left in the tank, while captain Dicker will be 34 in the summer. El Makrini may not have done enough to justify triggering the option on his contract and Jamie MacDonald's Killie career is essentially over.

However, the club will surely offer McKenzie a new deal and Millen provides relatively cheap depth. Bunn signed a short-term deal in January.


LIVINGSTON
Chris Erskine, Jack Hamilton, Craig Henderson, Ricki Lamie, Steven Lawless, Gary Maley, Jack McMillan, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Scott Tiffoney

Lawless has arguably had the season of his career and may be hard for Livi to retain. Lamie, McMillan and Taylor-Sinclair are all first teamers who you would expect to be offered new deals. It's not clear that Tiffoney, Hamilton and Henderson have made enough progress to justify contracts though, while Erskine's top flight days are surely numbered. Remarkably, 37 year old third choice keeper Maley is actually on a part-time deal.


MOTHERWELL
Charles Dunne, Rohan Ferguson, Mark Gillespie, Peter Hartley, Christian Ilic, Adam Livingstone, Christopher Long, Barry Maguire, Christy Manzinga, Richard Tait, Tony Watt

The Steelmen will be particularly desperate to hold onto first choice keeper Gillespie and striker Long, which will not be easy. Veteran Tait has lost his place in the starting lineup this season but it would be a surprise if he doesn't stay around, whilst Hartley has broken back in in the last few months. Its hard to know where Dunne and Ilic stand because of recent injuries, but Stephen Robinson highly rates the latter.

Of the strikers, Watt has only just arrived but Manzinga has not really shone so far. Youngsters Ferguson, Livingstone and Maguire have not established themselves in the way other youth academy players have in the last few years.


RANGERS
Jak Alnwick, Jon Flanagan, Wes Foderingham, Andy Halliday, Jason Holt, Jordan Rossiter, Aidan Wilson

I wouldn't expect any of these players to remain. Holt, Rossiter and Alnwick have essentially been away on loan for most of the last two seasons. Foderingham wants another crack at being a first choice keeper. It's hard to believe either Flanagan or Halliday is worth keeping around as a backup full-back. Each of Wilson's three loan moves has been one division lower than the previous one, which doesn't bode well for his prospects.


ROSS COUNTY
Don Cowie, Richard Foster, Marcus Fraser, Tom Grivosti, Sean Kelly, Tom Kelly, Declan McManus, Callum Morris, Harry Paton, Lewis Spence, James Wallace, Keith Watson

Like with Accies, I'm a little bit uncertain whether all the names on this list are correct. But unfortunately the club declined to respond to my email asking for information.

I'd expect Cowie (already a player-coach) and possibly Foster to retire from playing. McManus is seeing out his deal on loan at Falkirk. The rest could all conceivably be offered new deals, but could equally be moved on either because they want to return to the central belt or because County will feel they need to look for upgrades. I'd imagine they would be most keen to keep Fraser, Grivosti, Paton and maybe Spence.


ST JOHNSTONE
Steven Anderson, Callum Booth, Ross Callachan, Liam Craig, Murray Davidson, Olly Hamilton, Max Johnstone, Chris Kane, David McMillan, Jordan Northcott, John Robertson, Danny Swanson, Drey Wright

I think Tommy Wright might spontaneously combust if Booth, Kane and Wright aren't offered new contracts. There's plenty of veterans on this list, with Davidson probably more likely to be kept on than Craig and Swanson. Anderson, Callachan and McMillan are definitely done for, while the youngsters haven't really shown any sign that they can break into the first team so far.


ST MIRREN
Tony Andreu, Cameron Breadner, Cody Cooke, Oan Djorkaeff, Ryan Flynn, Scott Glover, Vlaclav Hladky, Gary MacKenzie, Nicholas McAllister, Stephen McGinn, Danny Mullen, Ross Wallace

St. Mirren will likely hold off offering new deals until they're out the other end of their relegation battle. Hladky will surely be tempted away by one of his many admirers. It's a surprise Djorkaeff is still here as he trained with Queen of the South in January. Veterans Wallace (recently signed till the end of the season) and MacKenzie might well be allowed to leave, whilst Flynn's knee injury couldn't have come at a worse time.

Club captain McGinn has had his own injury problems recently. Strikers Cooke and Mullen seem to have dropped down the pecking order recently, though Andreu remains a regular. Of the youngsters only Glover has started a first team game.


and as a bonus...

DUNDEE UNITED
Rakish Bingham, Kieran Freeman, Chris Mochrie, Cammy Smith, Oswan Sow, Sam Wardrop, Paul Watson

Given United are pretty much certain to be promoted, we may as well take a look at their situation. I'm surprised highly-rated kid Mochrie hasn't signed a long term contract yet. Freeman, who recently returned to the club from Southampton's youth setup, is trying to prove he's worth keeping. Are any of the other five worth keeping? I'm not sure. Watson has proved a decent squad option but he's not good enough for the top flight. Bingham is a stopgap short-term signing because Sow is injured. Smith and Wardrop are seeing out their United contracts on loan deals elsewhere.


Lawrie Spence has whinged about Scottish football on Narey's Toepoker since September 2007. He has a life outside this blog. Honestly.

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