IAN McCall is sounding out former Queen of the South striker Stephen Dobbie about a move to Firhill – with the Partick Thistle boss adding that he is on the case to sign Scott Tiffoney on a permanent deal.

Dobbie, 38, played his last game at Palmerston at the end of last month and is now a free agent – a prospect sure to entice McCall, who has previously admitted he’d “love to get another year” out of the striker after the pair worked together at Queens over a decade ago.

Herald and Times Sport understands that the Jags have previously approached Dobbie in the last 18 months but this time, the Thistle manager is hopeful a deal can be struck.

“I’m calling Dobbie and he’ll maybe come up and have a chat and we’ll see where it is,” McCall said. “I’m utterly convinced he’s got another season in him but it’s not going to be the Stephen Dobbie of before. He may not play 40 games but the thing about Dobbie is that if he manages to start 20 games, you’d probably back him to score about 15 goals.

“Since I first had him he’s turned into a bit of a fitness fanatic and he’s a great boy. Maybe not for Brian [Graham] because he’s played for so long but part of me thinks that he would be a really good influence on Zak [Rudden] – and Ross MacIver, if he comes back. But we’ll see what happens.”

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McCall says that the Jags are pulling out all the stops to re-sign Tiffoney after the 22-year-old’s Livingston contract expired. The Lions have offered terms, meaning a training development fee would be required for any deal to go through, and the Thistle boss remains determined to permanently acquire the winger who fired his side to the League One title – adding that he has one or two other players on is radar that he thinks will similarly enthral the fans.

He said: “I’m in constant contact with Tiffoney – him and Alan Forrest phoned me from their night out, which wasn’t the best phone call I’ve ever had! Listen – I’m on it. He’s one of three players we’re talking to that are of that type. And I think the other two would be quite exciting too – in fact, I know they would be.”

McCall added that the club remain in discussions with Stephen Bell, the East Kilbride centre-half who excelled on loan in Maryhill during the second half of the season, while extensions have also been offered to Jamie Sneddon, Richard Foster, Darren Brownlie, Shea Gordon and Zak Rudden. Tying down the core of the squad on longer deals has always been the priority, McCall insists.

“The first thing I did was to try and extend the contracts of key players,” he explained. “There are still two I need to do which are Brownlie and Rudden. [Stuart] Bannigan, [Ross] Docherty and Graham have all done theirs.

“Foster is very close too – he’d probably sign tomorrow but it’s just a matter of him coming in and doing it. He’ll be here and we want to step up his work with the academy because he’s a fantastic influence on the kids.

Glasgow Times:

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“I think if you look over the team that finished the season – [Ciaran] McKenna is still here, Brownlie is still here, Sneddon’s still here, Bell may be here, [James] Penrice is – whether or not he’s a left-back is another thing, I’m not sure that he is. Docherty and Bannigan are still here. I’m talking to Shea Gordon – he’ll probably still be here – and Zak Rudden and Brian Graham will still be here.

“I’m hoping Rudden will extend his contract. If he does and he has the type of season that I think he’s capable of – listen, he might go [to a Premiership club]. That’s up to [chief executive] Gerry [Britton] and [chairman] Jacqui [Low]. But I have no problem with that.

“I think the boy thinks that I stood beside him when he was getting all sorts of stick and that’s why I think he’ll extend his contract by another year. At the end of it he’ll only be 22 or 23. I’ve said all along, even when he was getting dog’s abuse, that he just needed that wee bit of luck in terms of fitness.”

New deals are being offered and fresh recruits are being enticed, yet there are others departing Firhill too. Arguably none will leave as big a void as Joe Cardle, the 34-year-old winger who will be leaving the club after playing a crucial role in the Jags’ League One title tilt. It was a decision, McCall stresses, that he did not take lightly.

“When I first arrived here – the type of boys we had, the level of professionalism – it wasn’t great,” McCall said. “It was really quite a poisonous place. But Cardle wasn’t like that. He scored seven and got ten assists this season. He was terrific so it was really, really hard.

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“He’s a great boy. Every morning you’d go into training and he’s got the mat down and he’s doing all his exercises. All the young kids can see him doing that and he’s a great example to them.

“It might have been selfish of me to keep him as a really good substitute when he can go somewhere and play all the time. He’s 34 now but he’s still very fit, he can easily play for another couple of years. He goes with everyone’s best wishes. He’s a great boy.

“Also, the type of players I’m talking to play in that area – they would maybe push him down the pecking order. It was what it was but it was very emotional.”