Ross County manager Jim McIntyre is planning for the long-term as he looks to shape his Staggies squad for next season.
County secured Scottish Premiership safety with Saturday’s 2-1 win against Hamilton Accies but have only six first-team players signed up for next season and no fewer than 22 players out of contract.
McIntyre said: “Contracts are the big priority now. That’s just part of the job, trying to retain players and, obviously, some will move on.
“It’s an ongoing process and that will happen in the next week or two.
“We are looking towards longer-term contracts. We’ve already shown that in the deals agreed with Marcus Fraser, Liam Boyce and Craig Curran, while Tony Dingwall has signed up for two years as well.
“Ideally, we don’t want to come to every summer and have 22 players out of contract. That’s not the way I like to work.”
The Staggies manager hopes the offer of long-term security will convince his out-of-contract players to sign up for the next campaign but he knows the offer of just 12 months may be more suitable to some members of the squad.
Although McIntyre accepts he is not fully closing the door on short-term contracts, the County manager believes it is imperative the club gives itself a platform to build from.
He believes the best way to achieve further stability in his squad is by securing more players beyond next summer and implementing long-term planning at the club.
He said: “Some players will get year-long contracts as it all depends on their situation.
“That’s just the nature of the beast but in the main when we’re trying to attract players to this area we need to offer a bit of stability.
“Teams will always take on-loan players – it’s a good market to use at times.
“Every manager is different. Some like to keep them on a short leash. But we will just look at the player and the history and that determines what we offer.”