St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin believes goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky “has all the attributes” to one day play in the Premier League.
The Czech revealed his week he intends on leaving the Buddies at the end of his contract and has his sights set on sealing a switch to England.
Goodwin admits it will be a blow to lose the 28 year-old but is not surprised by Hladky’s ambition to play at a higher level.
He said: “We spoke to Vaclav in the summer and told him we were desperate to keep him. We made him a very good offer to extend his contract. But he’s earned the right to see what it’s out there.
“He’s got all the attributes (to play in the Premier League). His distribution is excellent, his shot-stopping is brilliant, his decision-making, his temperament and mentality (are all good). He has a fantastic work ethic in training and he very rarely makes mistakes. He’s got the lot.
“We’ve given him a shop window to come here and sell himself and it’s worked out for everybody. In hindsight the club will be wishing they had given him a five-year deal! But he deserves whatever comes his way.
“I’m delighted we’ll be able to hold on to him until the end of the season.”
Hladky was quoted by media in his homeland as saying that Rangers had also been in talks to sign him but Goodwin revealed there had been no approach from the Ibrox club.
He added: “Rangers haven’t got in touch with us or expressed an interest to speak to Vaclav. But from January he’s free to sign a pre-contract with whoever he wants.
“I’ve no doubt Rangers have been looking at Vaclav as has every other club in Scotland, and there’s also interest from England and abroad. Whoever does eventually get him will be getting a fantastic goalkeeper.”
St Mirren travel to face Hearts on Saturday looking to take their first away point of the Ladbrokes Premiership season.
Goodwin added: “We’ve not had a good enough points return from the opening round of games and we’ve got to improve on that in the second round. That starts this Saturday at Tynecastle.
“The league is extremely tight and I think it will remain that way right until the very end. But we have to start picking up points on the road as our away form has been poor.”