sport

MacLean hoping May will stay

St Johnstone forward Steven MacLean hopes fellow striker Stevie May will stay at the club this season.

May, who scored 20 goals in the Scottish Premiership last term, is the subject of serious interest from a number of English clubs including Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham.

The 21-year-old is set to feature in Thursday's Europa League qualifying second-leg tie against Slovakian side Spartak Trnava and MacLean hopes progression in the competition will help persuade him to rethink his future plans.

"I'm hoping Thursday won't be Stevie's last game and that he will stay with us,\" MacLean said.

"Maybe it could be a factor in our favour if we get through this one and get one step closer to the group stages. Perhaps the lure of those big nights might persuade him to remain for a bit longer.

"The Europa League would be a great stage for him. Everyone wants to play at the highest level they can. If we did get to next round and, if we were lucky, then the group stages it would definitely cross his mind."

St Johnstone confirmed last week that Championship newcomers Rotherham had made a bid for May before Sheffield Wednesday boss Stuart Gray contacted the Saints to register their interest.

Saints lost the first leg 2-1 at McDiarmid Park last week and travel to Slovakia for what could be May's final match for the club.

MacLean said: "Stevie is a top player and there is always a lot of speculation about him.

"But if it is to be his last game, I'm sure he will put all that to one side and give us one last push. Hopefully he can get a goal before he leaves."