Cove Rangers one of three clubs keen on Peterhead striker Shane Sutherland

Shane Sutherland has been transfer-listed by Peterhead.
Shane Sutherland has been transfer-listed by Peterhead.

Cove Rangers are one of three clubs in for Peterhead striker Shane Sutherland.

The Highland League champions have been given permission to speak to transfer-listed Sutherland, along with Forfar Athletic and Brechin City.

Sutherland was made available for transfer last week after a disappointing second stint with the Blue Toon. Manager Jim McInally believed his head had been turned by late interest from Caley Thistle in January – after his move to Peterhead had been finalised – with the potential return to full-time football.

Cove were one of the clubs who were interested in signing Sutherland then, along with Peterhead and Stirling Albion. They already have 49-goal striker Mitch Megginson under contract for their inaugural season in League 2 and adding Sutherland, who was prolific at that level for Elgin City and during his first spell at Balmoor, would give them one of the league’s most potent strike partnerships.

Brechin have suffered back-to-back relegations and will be desperate to head in the right direction during the 2019-20 campaign, while League 1 side Forfar lost leading scorer John Baird this summer as he moves to Australia.

Meanwhile, midfielder Scott Brown looks set to depart Peterhead after holding talks with Dunfermline yesterday.

Brown is out of contract after three seasons at Balmoor and had been mulling over the chance to return to full-time football for the first time since leaving St Johnstone.

Jack Leitch is another with options to consider but could make a return to the Blue Toon next season if he opts to stay in part-time football.

A deal for Annan Athletic defender Scott Hooper is expected to be tied up imminently after McInally travelled to Dumfries to finalise his contract.

Hooper is a former team-mate of Peterhead striker Derek Lyle’s at Queen of the South and spent the last two seasons at Galabank.