Aberdeen have been given fresh hope in their attempt to sign Graeme Shinnie after the player rejected a new contract offer from Caley Thistle.
Talks between the Dons and Caley Jags for the former Scotland under-21 international broke down in the summer when the clubs failed to agree a fee, but his hometown club Aberdeen have continued to closely monitor his progress and manager Derek McInnes could make another move.
Shinnie could also attract attention from south of the border, with his agent Clive Hart also having overseen the deal that took Shinnie’s brother, Andrew, to Birmingham City in 2013.
Hart confirmed Shinnie is ready for a fresh challenge away from the Highlands but has refused to be drawn on his preferred destination.
He added: “Players can only move to clubs that want them, so we can only judge it from there.
“Graeme has had some great times at Inverness and is really enjoying his football under John Hughes.
“But he feels he is at a stage in his career where he wants to try something different, whether that be in England or Scotland.”
The race for Shinnie’s signature is now on with the 23-year-old free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club on December 1 as his contract expires at the end of of May next year.
But Hart insists he will not put pressure on Inverness to sell in January when the transfer window opens despite the risk of losing him for free next summer.
Despite the threat of losing Shinnie under freedom of contract Hart will not attempt to influence any decision Caley Jags may make to sell the left back.
Hart said: “I have not spoken to Caley Thistle chairman Kenny Cameron for a couple of months. But it’s totally up to Inverness, I will respect what they want to do.
“If someone wants to come with an offer in January, it’s totally up to them what they do.
“Clubs want to keep good players, and he comfortably falls into that category. But good players want to achieve the most they can in their careers.”