Cashing in on McGregor could be costly for Rangers
James Beattie has urged Rangers to do everything in their power to retain the services of Allan McGregor after the goalkeeper was linked with Manchester United.
McGregor has been in fine form for the Scottish champions all season, including clean-sheets against United and Bursaspor in the Champions League.
And he saw his stock rise further in the last week with man-of-the-match performances for Scotland against both Czech Republic and Spain in their Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Sir Alex Ferguson is now reportedly weighing up a move for McGregor, who is contracted to Rangers until 2013, as he seeks a replacement for veteran Edwin van der Sar.
“Allan is a fantastic goalkeeper and he's a great lad as well,” said Beattie, who has been impressed since his move from Stoke.
“I'm not surprised he is getting interest from top clubs like Manchester United.
“It's very important for us to keep hold of our best players.
“If he keeps performing as he is, superbly all the time, he is going to create interest.
“It's up to the club to keep him and for him to keep his head right.
“He's right up there. When I first came in, I didn't really know him, but his performances are fantastic. He is gaining interest and it's well-deserved.”
However, Beattie refused to be drawn on comparisons between McGregor's retrospective ban for aiming a kick at Aberdeen's Chris Maguire and what he described as a “cynical” challenge by Hearts' Ian Black, which went unpunished after leaving Rangers' striker Nikica Jelavic sidelined.
He said: “A lot has been made about that, but I'm not going to get into a debate about it.
“That's more of an issue for the hierarchy, I will just talk about football.”
Jelavic had carved out a productive partnership with Kenny Miller before requiring surgery on ankle ligament damage.
And, although gutted for the Croatian, Beattie hopes his absence will enhance his own chances of game-time.
“It's unfortunate for him, but it's a good chance for me to get back in the side and establish myself,” he said.
“It's very unfortunate for him, he was on good form and forged a good partnership with Kenny, and he was taken out most cynically by one of the Hearts players.
“He's undergone an operation and was upbeat when I spoke to him, but he's disappointed.”