SPL window shopping

ABERDEEN WHAT THEY NEED: Mark McGhee's pursuit of Plymouth's Steven MacLean, interest in Swansea's Stephen Dobbie and Falkirk's Darren Barr illustrates he needs a centre-forward and centre-back. Cash for permanent deals, however, is almost non-existent.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: Even though there have been discussions with Barr, the draw of John Hughes at Hibernian might sway the defender. A loan deal for MacLean, and a resolution to the pursuit of former Motherwell charge Jim O'Brien, right, are possibilities.


WHAT THEY NEED: One central defender is a must, two preferable. Not least because of Gary Caldwell's imminent move south. Many names from England – notably Sheffield United's Sean Kilgannon and Preston's Sean St Ledger – and more from the continent – the latest Dutchman Jos Hooiveld – have emerged as targets. A goalscorer is also required, with the Olivier Giroud bid breaking down this week.

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WHAT THEY'LL GET: The 1.6 million taken in from Caldwell and Barry Robson joining former manager Gordon Strachan at the Riverside, along with Chris Killen and Willo Flood on loan, should cover the cost of a centre-back. With 2m Korean midfielder Ki Yung-Seung having arrived and Bosnian midfielder Semir Stillic claiming Celtic are in for him, other movement is likely to be dependent on movement out. Banking 4m from Scott McDonald, wanted by Wigan, could spark more deals.


WHAT THEY NEED: Right now, a manager. The team seem to have crumbled since losing Craig Levein to Scotland. After failing to land Pat Fenlon, they will need the new man to get the same out of the squad as Levein did.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: The unwillingness to pay 300,000 to release Fenlon from his contract suggests they will get a manager whose arrival won't require a severance payment. He may be able to fix up a loan deal or two, or a free transfer pick-up.


WHAT THEY NEED: Manager Eddie May has said the Falkirk squad isn't strong enough to haul the club up from the bottom and they are crying out for a player capable of finding the net. Holding on to Barr until the summer at least is vital.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: Been credited with an interest in Aberdeen's Gary McDonald and may be able to strike a loan deal. One of three SPL clubs said to have Steven MacLean on their shopping list. Have already signed up forward Pedro Moutinho till the end of the season. May bring in a couple more.


WHAT THEY'LL NEED: Manager Billy Reid has already got what he wanted – signing up goal source Mickael Antoine Curier for the second half of the season. He clearly believes there is a need for more seasoned pros on the books and has duly added former Motherwell and Hull forward Stuart Elliott and ex-Hibs and St Mirren defender David van Zanten.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: Further recruitment may hinge on whether James McArthur attracts a bid that is to the satisfaction of all parties. QPR and West Brom are among those linked with the midfielder. Some of these proceeds could be invested in a centre-back after Marvin Andrews' unproductive loan spell ended last week.


WHAT THEY NEED: Nothing much, it would seem – if you are Vladimir Romanov. To the rest of the world and his wife, and especially manager Csaba Laszlo, bringing in a goal scorer is as important as breathing.

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WHAT THEY'LL GET: Romanov seemed to put the kibosh on Laszlo's efforts to attract Steven MacLean or Izale McLeod. No doubt a player or two will arrive in the next three weeks, however… on loan from FC Kaunas.


WHAT THEY NEED: John Hughes will look to improve his squad in the area of goal protection rather than scoring. He has already brought in goalkeeper Graeme Smith. Centre-back is the other position requiring attention, reflected in his frustration at a move for Darren Barr, right, appearing to stall.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: Owing to Hughes' long and strong relationship with Barr, and notwithstanding demands made through his agent, he should become a Hibs player; if not this month then when his current contract expires in the summer.


WHAT THEY NEED: A new backer, a new chairman, perhaps a new manager, and new players. With the future uncertain thanks to 9m debt necessitating cost-cutting that in turn has caused fractures to appear between chairman Michael Johnston and manager Jim Jefferies and his players. Signings are out of the question, so above all they need relations inside the club to thaw.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: After striker Kevin Kyle's allegation that Johnston sought to discuss Jefferies' tactics with the players behind the manager's back, Kyle, below left, is likely to be moved on. The 300,000 his sale could raise could allow a loan to be covered that would see previous benefactor Jamie Moffat write off a 2m loan and bring some respite from the club's financial problems.


WHAT THEY NEED: Adding experience to the Fir Park side appears essential for a squad whose youth has caught up with them in the past six weeks.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: Craig Brown has caused Motherwell fans to expect an exciting January in expressing confidence he can use his top-level contacts to attract some pedigree loan signings.


WHAT THEY NEED: In contrast to other clubs, they are desperate to hang on to a goalscorer rather than snare one. And if Kris Boyd rejects the reputed 18,000-a-week offer to remain, they might need miracles to retain the title. Their obligation to operate in a way that satisfies Lloyds means that while arrivals can be ruled out, departures, aside from Boyd, cannot.

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WHAT THEY'LL GET: All manager Walter Smith wants is to end the window with the same squad he started it with. He may get that wish, even with the interest in Boyd, reports Sporting Lisbon would pay 1.3m for Pedro Mendes and speculation that Allan McGregor, Steven Davis and Madjid Bougherra could all be the subject of late bids from Premiership sides.


WHAT THEY NEED: Another team who would probably be content so long as their resources aren't diminished with the impressive showings so far by Collin Samuel and Murray Davidson bringing them to the attention of English Championship clubs.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: The failed move for Craig Moore – who opted to join Greek club Kavala – can be read as a sign Derek McInnes is determined to bolster his central defence. There is every reason to suspect he has some means to do so, as Moore wouldn't have come for peanuts.


WHAT THEY NEED: They need to remain debt-free as they seek a buyer. That would appear to over-ride transfer business in the form of the couple of new faces manager Gus MacPherson has said he would ideally like to freshen up his goals-light group. They will be praying Andy Dorman is not enticed away.

WHAT THEY'LL GET: Again, a late short-term or freebie signing is as active as it will get.