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Perth club close in on O'Halloran

Tommy Wright, the St Johnstone manager, is expected to move for former Scotland Under-21 striker Michael O'Halloran when the transfer window opens.

The 22-year-old is currently at Bolton Wanderers and has been a target for the Perth club for some time.

It is likely that quiet admiration will become a strong statement of interest during the window, though, after it was confirmed that striker Steven McLean has been ruled out until the end of February. The St Johnstone man has still to recover fully from a knee injury.

"With Steven out, bringing a striker in is the priority," said Wright. "We're quite a bit down the line and now we'll have to wait and see how it pans out. Steven has seen the surgeon and he's added another four weeks to his recovery time."

The striker is not the only player to be posted missing since the Perth club has lost an appeal against a suspension given to Paddy Cregg. The midfielder will miss the New Year's Day match against Motherwell and then the trip to face Ross County three days later.

Wright advised that released midfielder David Robertson is to sign for Morton, while there is uncertainty over the future of defender Sanel Jahic. However, the St Johnstone manager has been heartened by the return from injury of Steven Anderson, who played in Sunday's win over Dundee United.

It was a match marked by a hat trick for Stevie May, too. "We need someone to be scoring regularly," said Anderson. "He deserves the plaudits because not many Saints get hat tricks."

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