FANS' favourite club captain Nicky Devlin last week left the club and has been linked with possible moves to Premier Division Hearts and Dundee United.

And speculation suggests that hugely popular former players Michael Moffat and Andy Geggan could be returning.

Devlin signed for United in July 2014 and in his three seasons made over 100 appearances.

He was made club captain by boss Ian McCall May 2015 and led the club to promotion in his first season as captain which culminated in an incredible penalty shoot-out victory over Stranraer in front of close to 5,000 at Somerset Park.

Nicky started coaching with the Ayr United Football Academy at the end of his first season with the club and in the last two years has coached hundreds of local children between the ages of 3 and 12.

This week he paid tribute to the fans and said: "”Unfortunately the time has come to move on from Ayr United. I’ve had three great years and I would like to thank Mark Roberts for giving me the opportunity to come here and of course to The Gaffer for giving me the honour of captaining this fantastic club.

"I would also like to thank everyone at the academy for all they have done for me as well and to allow me to coach with them for the last two years. We’ve had ups and downs but I will always look back at my time with fond memories. It's a great club that I’m sure will bounce straight back to the Championship next year. Big thank you to all the supporters."

McCall said: "Fans get angry when they see a player they love leave however after watching Nicky for the last three seasons I am sure there is a realisation that Nicky has the ability to play for big clubs at a higher level. Even if we had stayed in the Championship it would have been extremely difficult to keep him. Many clubs have been keeping tabs on him for a long time. He became the club's youngest every captain at 21 and we couldn’t have asked anymore of him. Nicky has a great affinity for the club so who knows, he may well end up back at Somerset in the future."

Meanwhile Peter Murphy, Farid El Alagui and Conrad Balatoni also left. El Alagui signed for the club in February, scoring three times including important winners against Raith and Dumbarton. Unfortunately injuries curtailed his appearances. Balatoni has signed in September and Murphy was at Somerset Park for almost three years.

Striker Moffat and midfielder Geggan, currently at Dunfermline Athletic, were seen at Somerset Park on Thursday and the former is understood to have recently moved to Mauchline.