ROSS County midfielder Martin Woods spoke this week of his determination to remain in Dingwall unless the Ladbrokes Premiership club offers an acceptable compensation sum for terminating his contract.
The former Leeds United, Sunderland and Shrewsbury playmaker was told towards the end of last season that he was no longer wanted as part of Jim McIntyre’s Staggies’ squad and was free to find a new club.
But the 31-year-old instead took up the option, provided for in his contract, of activating another year on top of his current deal.
Woods, amid clearly strained relations with McIntyre, is adamant that he will report for the first day of pre-season training on June 23.
The Glaswegian, who has made 94 County appearances in two spells since first signing in July 2014, starred in County’s League Cup final triumph over Hibs last year.
The standoff between player and club has not been lessened by reported interest in Woods from several clubs, including Neil McCann’s Dundee. Woods stressed: “There’s nothing going on regarding Dundee – I’ll be at Ross County. I’ve spoken to a few teams, but as far as I’m concerned I’ve still got a year left at County. It’s up to Ross County what they want to do going forward.
“Whatever is happening between me and the manager will stay under wraps. I’m in no rush to make a decision because everything has to be right for me. It’s got to be the right decision for my family.
“I wasn’t too keen on certain things that were happening. I’ve had ongoing discussions with the manager but I’m totally fine with staying.
“I was willing to have another year on top of the year I have left at County because I wanted to move my family up. That’s when all the discussions started.
“But I can’t move my wee boy out of school just for a year – I needed something more long-term.
“I’ll keep what’s been said to myself until the time is right, but as far as I’m concerned I’m back at Ross County for next season.
“If the manager doesn’t want me there that’s up to him, but I won’t be walking away from a deal, that’s for sure.
“I’ve had interest from a few teams but I’m on not a bad wee deal at Ross County.
“So as far as I’m concerned, if the club don’t want me there they’re going to need to do something about it. We’ll see how it goes. “I’m looking forward to seeing the boys again – they’re a great bunch.”
Meanwhile, County rejected an initial bid from Burton Albion for Northern Ireland international Liam Boyce.
But the 23-goal Scottish Premiership top scorer still looks set to move south, with County officials braced for an improved offer from the English Championship club.
It is understood the cash sum tabled by Burton fell only just short of activating a £500,000 release clause in Boyce’s contract.
The Belfast-born striker, who hit his first goal for his country in a friendly against New Zealand earlier this month, has another year to run on his Dingwall deal.
But the ex-Werder Bremen and Cliftonville goalscorer is believed to be keen to talk to the Staffordshire club, who snapped up County’s Australia international Jackson Irvine last season.
Staggies’ manager Jim McIntyre said: “Basically, we’ve had a bid for Liam and we’ve said no to it. That’s where it stands at the minute.
“I’m not going to talk about what we’ve got written into any player’s contract. All I’ll say is that Burton want Liam. A bid’s been placed and rejected.”