Allan Johnston has confessed he is keen to keep John Herron beyond his loan contract after the former Celtic midfielder agreed to stay at Dunfermline for the rest of the season.
Herron joined the Pars on loan from Blackpool in the summer and has extended that agreement this week to ensure he will see out the campaign at East End Park.
The 22-year-old has another year left on his contract south of the border but it is understood he has struck a deal to leave the Seasiders for free in the summer.
That will alert clubs in Scotland and, if the Scotland under-21 cap’s impressive displays continue, Johnston is hopeful Dunfermline could head the queue seeking his signature.
He said: “He was really, really keen to come, to get his career back on track. He’s done that and he’s got to continue to do that.
“He’s a good player, he’s got loads of energy – you see the amount of ground he covers in games.
“Time will tell whether he’ll stay longer than the loan spell but with his performances just now we would be keen to keep him, definitely.
“But I’m sure there will be a lot of other teams looking at him as well.
“It’s a big five or six months for him. He’s doing really well for us just now, but he’s got to continue that.”
Dunfermline have also secured Celtic winger Paul McMullan for the remainder of the campaign after holding talks with the Parkhead club.
The 20-year-old penned a season-long loan but a recall option meant he could have returned to the Scottish champions during the current window.
Johnston added: “They’ve been two big players for us recently and it’s good business from us.
“Paul has come into the team in the last wee while and done really well. He’s given us that bit of pace and he’s one of those players who’s exciting to watch; he goes by people.
“He’s doing really well at the minute and he needs to keep that up.”
Dunfermline extended their unbeaten run to eight matches with last weekend’s 2-0 win away to Ayr United and have moved to within six points of a play-off spot.
The Pars host bottom side St Mirren on Saturday and could leapfrog Fife rivals Raith Rovers with a third successive win.
Johnston commented: “Last weekend’s win was great but, as a manager, as soon as that game is out of the way you’re thinking about the next one.
“We’ve got ourselves in a great position but we still want to push higher up the league and catch the teams above us.
“To do that we need to win games like Saturday’s. But we know how difficult it’s going to be because St Mirren are in a false position, when you look at their squad, the size of the club and their performances.
“They’re bottom of the league but they’re still a good team, they’ve got good players and they’ve strengthened again with good additions like Rory Loy.”