Transfer window shopping: What's expected at all 12 cinch Premiership clubs this January
The winter transfer window has opened and it is expected to be a very busy month in the top flight of Scottish football.
We take a look at what business is expected across the 12 cinch Premiership clubs …
Aberdeen: While manager Stephen Glass would like to replenish the attacking third of his squad, it is the exit door that will concern the Dons boss the most. Ryan Hedges is not likely to sign a new deal at Pittodrie, with the Welsh internationalist expected to move south. Blackburn Rovers are interested. Lewis Ferguson’s stock has risen since the summer following two Scotland caps and Watford may renew their interest, while Everton lead a clutch of English Premier League clubs looking at teenage right-back Calvin Ramsay.
Celtic: Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi all signed on New Year’s Day, but manager Ange Postecoglou is not finished there. Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder Hannes Wolf has been linked, while another centre-half is also on his shopping list. With a now bloated first-team squad, expect some departures too. Vasilis Barkas, Boli Bolingoli, Ismaila Soro, Ewan Henderson and Albian Ajeti appear surplus to requirements and could depart.
Dundee: Covid and injuries decimated Dundee in January and manager James McPake requires reinforcements. They have the worst defence in the league and require another centre-half following a long-term injury to Lee Ashcroft. A physical striker will also be on the shopping list given Cillian Sheridan’s long-term injury. Jason Cummings is likely to depart following a breach of protocol last month and left-back Jordan Marshall attracted interest in the summer. McPake will not want to lose any first-teamers with options already thin on the ground.
Dundee United: Much of this window will centre around Tony Watt, who has reportedly signed a pre-contract from Motherwell. Due to join in the summer, United are in talks with the Steelmen over a transfer this month. Tam Courts wants to beef up his attacking options and if they don’t land Watt now, expect a move into the loan market. Cameroonian midfielder Jeando Fuchs has been loosely linked with both Rangers and Celtic and, with his contract up in the summer, United may cash in now.
Hearts: It looks less and less likely that defender John Souttar will sign a new deal. Rangers, Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest are all keen on the 25-year-old, with Rovers the favourites to land his signature. Nathaniel Atkinson arrives from Australia, but Hearts are expected to sign another defender before January is out. With Liam Boyce the only out-and-out goalscorer in attack, a striker is a priority. Japanese forward Tsuyoshi Ogashiwa is a target. Armand Gnanduillet is free to leave and a move to Salford has been mooted. Midfielder Jamie Walker is also wanted by Livingston and St Johnstone on loan.
Hibs: New manager Shaun Maloney has vowed to give all current players a chance and that could change the landscape for fringe players such as Drey Wright and Alex Gogic, the latter being a target for St Mirren and Ross County. Ryan Porteous has caught the eye of clubs in Turkey and Russia, with Galatasaray and Krasnodar linked with him in the past few months. Hibs will not want to lose Porteous nor key forward Martin Boyle, who is liked by Al Faisaly in Saudi Arabia. A defender will be high on Maloney’s shopping list and Celtic midfielder Ewan Henderson – brother of Liam – has also been loosely linked to the club.
Livingston: In need of creativity in the final third, Hearts’ Jamie Walker is a loan target. Ben Williamson has returned to Rangers and has since been loaned to Raith, so a new full-back is a possibility. Joel Nouble, who has been on loan at Arbroath and has impressed at the Championship leaders, returns to West Lothian and will feel like a new signing and will add fresh impetus to the Lions’ front line.
Motherwell: If Graham Alexander loses striker Tony Watt to Dundee United this month, then expect the Steelmen to reinvest and bring in a forward to back up Kevin van Veen and Connor Shields. Bevis Mugabe has a host of admirers and offers may come in for the physical, tough-tackling defender. Positioned nicely in fourth, Alexander does not need to do too much surgery to his team unless departures happen.
Rangers: New manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said he expects a quiet window, but there is little doubt some of his players will attract attention from England. Aston Villa, now managed by ex-Gers boss Steven Gerrard, are credited with an interest in Ryan Kent, Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo. Kamara, in particular, has many suitors in England. For once, Alfredo Morelos is not dominating transfer talk. Ianis Hagi has admirers on the continent. Should any of those players depart, Rangers will act swiftly. Wingers Olimpiu Morutan and Francis Amuzu are names Rangers are aware of, while PSG wonderkid Xavi Simons has also been linked. Brandon Barker is likely to depart.
Ross County: On a fine run of form under Malky Mackay, County are not expected to make wholesale changes and will adopt a quality over quantity approach. They are light in defensive midfield, hence the interest in Hibs’ Alex Gogic, but Mackay will not be performing surgery on a squad that has improved substantially in the past two months.
St Johnstone: Bottom of the league, this is a big window for the club. Irish defender Daniel Cleary has been training at McDiarmid Park and could sign a permanent deal from Dundalk, while there is interest in Partick Thistle forward Zak Rudden. Manager Callum Davidson is expected to be backed substantially, with relegation a serious prospect, and he would like Hearts’ Jamie Walker in on loan to add more creativity.
St Mirren: Buddies boss Jim Goodwin may have a call to make on Jamie McGrath, with the Irish midfielder’s contract expiring. Hibs and Middlesbrough led the chase for him in the summer and a departure could happen. Hibs duo Alex Gogic and Drey Wright are targets for the Saints, who are also looking for an out-and-out goalscorer.