Jim Goodwin to enter talks to become the next St Mirren manager

St Mirren have been granted permission to speak to Irishman Jim Goodwin and hope to have their new boss in place by the time they kick-off their pre-season schedule on Friday night.

The Buddies finally announced the departure of Oran Kearney today and immediately set their sights on luring their former club captain back to Paisley.

The Saints have been given the go-ahead to open talks with the Waterford native by his current club Alloa.

The timing will be tight but if everything goes to plan the club’s board hope to see Goodwin – who skippered the club to their 2014 League Cup triumph – in the dug-out for Friday night’s clash with Northern Irish amateurs Rosario Juniors in Belfast.

Kearney admitted he was “gutted” to be leaving Saints after a bitter split with chairman Gordon Scott brought an end to his Paisley reign after just nine months.

The former Coleraine manager’s future had been in doubt since reports emerged at the weekend of a fall-out over his plans to continue commuting across the Irish Sea from his family home in Ballymoney.

He was nowhere to be seen as the first-team squad returned to their Ralston training base to begin pre-season preparations on Monday amid suggestions he had been told to stay away.

But, now that his departure has been confirmed, Kearney insists he is leaving with his head held high.

In a heartfelt Twitter post, he said: “I am gutted. But my time was up, that was crystal clear.

“I gave 100 per cent commitment to the cause as I’ve done at any club I’ve been at as a player or manager.

“I am very proud of the job I did and the turnaround I made, just sad not to be seeing it through.”

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