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Transfer Window: Last chance to strengthen, but some will settle for keeping the vultures at bay

BBC Radio Scotland used to run a programme in the closing hours of each January deadline day called Through The Window.

Fraser Forster has been linked with transfers away from Celtic this window after impressing in the Champions League. Picture: Sammy Turner/SNS
Fraser Forster has been linked with transfers away from Celtic this window after impressing in the Champions League. Picture: Sammy Turner/SNS

There were regular updates and studio analysis of all the late breaking transfers as clubs rushed to add or reduce their squads before the window "slammed shut", as transfer windows tend to do.

After a few years, however, it became apparent that there was not much activity taking place after all. Reporters were peering out of the window and seeing little but tumbleweed rolling by as clubs, their budgets spent for the season, elected to settle for what they already had. The programme was soon discontinued.

The Scottish Professional Football League winter window will close at 11pm this Friday, and again the prospects of late drama seem limited. That will not stop supporters clinging on to the desperate hope that their club still has one more trick up its sleeve to set them up for the second half of the season. Here is the business the 12 Premiership clubs have done to date and what they could do in the last few days of the window.

1. Celtic

In Holmbert Fridjonsson (Fram Reykjavik), Stefan Johansen (Stromsgodset)

Out Paul George (Hamilton Academical, loan), Tom Rogic (Melbourne Victory, loan), Bahrudin Atajic (Shrewsbury Town, loan), Callum McGregor (Notts County, loan)

Linked with (selected) Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Leigh Griffiths (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City), Yann Kermorgant and Michael Morrison (both Charlton Athletic)

Neil Lennon had hoped to use this month to sign players with a view to bedding them in for the Champions League qualifying rounds in the summer but so far only two new faces have arrived, with Fridjonsson seen more as one for the future. Lennon would like at least one more centre-forward - Griffiths - while he also hopes the club also turn down any late bids for goalkeeper Fraser Forster as well as defender Virgil van Dijk. Meanwhile, every agent, father and roommate will be furiously busy, 'linking' players with the club.

2. Aberdeen

In Alan Tate (Swansea City, loan), Adam Rooney (Oldham Athletic)

Out Gregg Wylde (St Mirren), Lawrence Shankland (Dunfermline Athletic, loan), Michael Hector (Reading, end of loan)

Linked with (selected) Jamie Murphy (Sheffield United)

A successful summer has reduced the need for Derek McInnes to do a great deal in the January window, especially with Aberdeen second in the table and still in two cup competitions. Alan Tate is a replacement for Michael Hector, while Adam Rooney's arrival will ease the goalscoring burden on Niall McGinn. McInnes may yet look to add further defensive cover, especially in the wide roles.

3. Motherwell

In Henri Anier (Viking)

Out Adam Cummins (Dundee, loan), Bob McHugh (Queen of the South, loan)

Linked with (selected) Antonio Reguero (Kilmarnock)

After extending Lionel Ainsworth's loan spell from Rotherham and signing Henri Anier on a permanent deal, manager Stuart McCall declared himself in no rush to do any more business. A new goalkeeper may be the exception to that, with Lee Hollis out injured.

4. Inverness Caledonian Thistle

In Greg Tansey (Stevenage)

Out Torbjorn Agdestein (end of contract)

Linked with (selected) Rowan Vine (Hibernian), Dean Shiels (Rangers)

Like Terry Butcher at Hibs, John Hughes has so far elected not to put his stamp on things by making vast changes to the squad. Such was the extent of Butcher's rebuilding job last summer Hughes may either feel it is not necessary to do much, or there may simply be little budget left. Having brought in Russell Latapy as his assistant, Hughes will now look to add a striker as back-up to Billy McKay.

5. Dundee United

In Farid El Alagui (Brentford),

Out Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle, loan), Ryan Ferguson (Brechin City, loan), David Goodwillie (end of loan)

Linked with (selected) Garry Kenneth (free)

Jackie McNamara's concern centred on whether United could hold on to their young talent and they have survived unscathed so far. A downturn in form has done little to dampen speculation regarding Ryan Gauld and John Souttar in particular - Roma are the latest big club to be linked - but United seem in no rush to sell. Instead, McNamara wants to bolster his attacking options, and Garry Kenneth is training, seeking a return.

6. St Johnstone

In Michael O'Halloran (Bolton Wanderers), Chris Iwelumo (Scunthorpe United), James Dunne (Stevenage, loan)

Out David Robertson (Morton), Gwion Edwards (end of loan)

Linked with (selected) Alex Jones (West Bromwich Albion)

Tommy Wright had his heart set on bringing David Goodwillie to St Johnstone but Chris Iwelumo will likely be just as effective a second choice. Key, however, is keeping hold of Stevie May until the summer, with Queens Park Rangers among those looking to take the striker. The longer the pursuit, though, the less time Wright has to source a replacement.

7. Hibernian

In None

Out Fraser Mullen (Raith Rovers), Ross Caldwell (Alloa Athletic, loan)

Linked with (selected) Billy McKay (Inverness)

It is something of a surprise that Terry Butcher has yet to make a signing, given this is his first window as manager. There have been no raids on old club Inverness and no players plucked from obscurity down south, as is Butcher's forte. Failing to persuade fringe players like Tim Clancy and Rowan Vine to move on restricts his options but it is hard to believe Butcher won't sign anyone.

8. Kilmarnock

In Vitalijs Maksimenko (Brighton & Hove Albion, loan)

Out James Fowler (Cowdenbeath, loan), Kyle Jacobs (Livingston), Reuben Gabriel (Waasland-Beveren), Rabiu Ibrahim (released)

Linked with (selected) Alexei Eremenko (free), Gregory Tade (Cluj)

Such is the success that Allan Johnston has had by handing young players a chance, it seems hard to imagine the Kilmarnock manager deviating from that strategy in the coming days by splurging in the transfer market, even if he had the funds to do so. The one exception may be Alexei Eremenko, pictured right in training with the club, with the Finnish playmaker in talks to make a return to Rugby Park. Holding on to Kris Boyd will be Johnston's priority in the days ahead.

9. St Mirren

In Adam Campbell (Newcastle United, loan), Gregg Wylde (Aberdeen)

Out Gary Harkins (Oldham Athletic, loan), Lee Mair (Partick Thistle), David Cornell (Swansea City, loan terminated), Jake Caprice (Blackpool, loan terminated), David Barron (released)

Linked with (selected) Ryan Stevenson (Hearts), Gary Dicker (Rochdale), Josh Magennis (Aberdeen)

An over-reliance on 35-year-old Steven Thompson has meant signing another striker has been Danny Lennon's priority throughout January. Adam Campbell has arrived on loan from Newcastle United but St Mirren still hope to sign another forward with a greater physical presence who could deputise for Thompson. Lee Mair's departure to play-off place rivals Partick Thistle also leaves St Mirren light at centre-half.

10. Ross County

In Jordan Slew (Blackburn Rovers, loan), Evangelos Ikonomou (Veria), Michael Tidser (Rotherham United, loan), Filip Kiss (Cardiff City, loan), Yoann Arquin (Notts County), Yann Songo'o (Blackburn, loan)

Out Mihael Kovacevic (released)

Linked with (selected) Erik Cikos (Slovan Bratislava)

Ross County took huge strides forward in the second half of last season and their recruitment drive so far this month suggests they retain similar ambitions for this campaign. Derek Adams has so far brought in six new players - including Yoann Arquinn, once labelled the 'Nicolas Anelka of Notts County' - in the hope of leading his team away from the play-off spot. Ten points from their January fixtures so far suggests they are on the right road. A new goalkeeper would seem like the final box to tick.

11. Partick Thistle

In Gary Fraser (Bolton Wanderers), Lee Mair (St Mirren), Chris Erskine (Dundee United, loan), Lyle Taylor (Sheffield United, loan)

Out Hugh Murray (Dumbarton), Darren Brownlie (Cowdenbeath, loan), Caolan McAleer (Airdrie United, loan)

Linked with (selected) Dylan McGeouch (Celtic), Jamie Hamill, Ryan Stevenson (both Hearts)

Alan Archibald wanted to sign a centre-forward and a centre-half during the transfer window and has managed both in Lyle Taylor and Mair. The addition of Gary Fraser on a permanent deal and the return of Chris Erskine on loan gives the manager more options but he also hopes to add a midfielder with Isaac Osbourne and Sean Welsh injured.

12. Hearts

In None

Out None

Linked with (selected) Rudi Skacel (free)

Hands are tied with administration but Hearts could yet take advantage of the "one in, one out" ruling. Adam King's move to Swansea City should be confirmed, allowing the signing of Rudi Skacel for a third time when an SFA embargo is lifted on February 1. His presence could bolster attendances and revenue ahead of the Championship.

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