POLLOK’S decision to part company with Carlo Monti is set to spark a race for the versatile ace with a number of Super Premier Division clubs having come forward to express a signing interest.

The 26-year-old is less than nine months into his third playing stint at Newlandsfield but may not kick another ball in Lok colours after he was sensationally placed on the open to transfer list in the immediate aftermath of last midweek’s 2-0 Exsel Group Sectional League Cup semi-final defeat by Rob Roy.

Hard to consider otherwise given his subsequent omission from manager Tony McInally’s team selection for Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Troon … he didn’t even make the substitutes bench … which has acted to fuel terracing whispers that the former Dundee, Morton and Celtic signing will soon be on the move to pastures new.

But earlier today Lok boss Macca refused to rule Monti out of his plans for this weekend’s home game against Hurlford United when revealing: “I think it’s fair to say Carlo has not made the impact we thought he would on coming back to Pollok and it’s maybe in everyone’s best interests if he gets another club.

“He’s certainly in demand given the approaches made to Pollok since the transfer news broke, however no deal has been concluded so I would prefer not to divulge the names of those interested parties at this stage.

“Until such time as his situation changes, Carlo will be treated the same as every Pollok player and will train alongside the other guys to try and force himself into my thoughts for Saturday’s game.”

Monti could well feature against Hurlford given that lively forward Derek Hepburn is considered extremely doubtful after picking up an ankle injury that forced his substitution against Troon.

McInally insisted: “Del did well playing up top but his injury saw Alan McKenzie come on to link up with Davie Winters and it’s pleasing to think we have that kind of forward strength in reserve.

“Overall it was a great team performance and we didn’t have a failure on the day so any changes are likely to be forced upon us.”

Hurlford will come through to Glasgow in confident mood after two wins from their opening two league games, however hopes of racking up a third successive victory have been dented by suspension ruling out 13-goal striker John Gemmell on top of a combination of injuries and work commitments ruling out Ross Fisher, Ross Brash and the tough tackling Mitchell brothers Danny and Glen.

Ayrshire gaffer Darren Henderson admitted: “Newlandsfield isn’t the happiest of hunting grounds for us after losing there to Auchinleck Talbot in the New Coin Cup Final and to Pollok in the Scottish Junior Cup.

“But if we are to improve on that disappointing record then the players will need to raise their game a few levels because we haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders despite putting points on the board.

“We’ve brought in a few younger types from development football while also adding experience in the former Brechin City captain Craig Molloy and Mark Roberts ex-Kilmarnock and Ayr United.

“Mark is getting on in years and had a spell as manager at Ayr but his touch is magnificent and he’s slowly but surely getting up to speed with substitute appearances in our last few outings.

“It might be time to let him loose from the start against Pollok but I’ll wait until closer to kick-off time before naming a team.”

Elsewhere on the transfer scene comes word of Auchinleck releasing ex-Airdrie centre-back Grant Drummond through the player’s work commitments, while Lowland League club East Kilbride have released striker Smart Osadolar, formerly of Annan Athletic and Stranraer, while also announcing their willingness to listen to offers for ex-Queen's Park midfielder Gavin Lachlan.

And one hears that Super First Division pair Renfrew and Maryhill have taken steps to avoid a clash with the televised Old Firm game on Saturday by playing their scheduled fixtures – Kilsyth Rangers and Shotts Bon Accord respectively – under floodlights on Friday night (kick-offs 7.30pm).