This is an excerpt from this week's Claret and Amber Alert, a free Motherwell newsletter written by Graeme McGarry that goes out every Thursday at 6pm. To sign up, click here.

There will still be six hours of the transfer window (and my shift, unfortunately) remaining when this drops into your inbox, so there seems little point in dredging over the business done to this point. Let’s save that little gem for next week and give us all something to look forward to…

The atmosphere around the ground this morning as Stephen Frail took on press duties wasn’t one of doom and gloom, per se, but there wasn’t exactly abounding optimism that there would be faxes flying (why do they still use faxes?) between Fir Park and SFA HQ either as Motherwell looked to pull off some deadline busting business.

Adam Devine of Rangers is a target for a loan deal until the end of the season, though as good a player as he is, the need for another right-back is debatable with Stephen O’Donnell and Callan Elliott already in situ.

As for Kevin van Veen, well, the depressing reports coming out of The Netherlands this morning that Hearts, Kilmarnock and St Mirren were the teams in for him were only slightly offset by Frail at least leaving the door open to the possibility of a return for the King.

Though, my optimism was tempered somewhat by his admission that it is getting harder for Motherwell to compete with the likes of Killie, Saints and Dundee when it comes to the wages being offered to players.

Then, all hope was dashed completely as I (in my best Chick Young voice) exclusively revealed that Motherwell had thrown the kitchen sink at Groningen to make the deal happen, only to find that Killie and St Mirren had thrown the entire kitchen.

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If Van Veen ultimately does end up scoring the winner at Fir Park on Saturday, but in the blue and white stripes of Killie, there will be a mutiny of the like not seen in the stadium since they stopped using Chapman’s as the supplier for the pie stalls.

As much as I would have loved to have seen the big man back in the claret and amber though, arguably a more pressing piece of business for Motherwell at this moment in time is securing the future of Blair Spittal.

I am not one for blowing my own trumpet (yes I am, and I’m going to), but when asked to contribute to various pre-season pullouts in the summer I earmarked Spittal as Motherwell’s key player for the season, and the one who would emerge from the shadow of Van Veen as the team’s creative spark.

So it has proved, with his seven goals and six assists proving invaluable despite the fact he has been pulled here, there and everywhere and has even been pressganged into covering at wing-back on occasion.

I first started watching Spittal regularly some years ago when I was on the Partick Thistle beat, and it was clear to see then that this was a talented player. What’s more, he was clearly a consummate professional and a good influence around the club.

He developed his leadership qualities further at Ross County, becoming their captain, and I thought his signing was a real coup when Motherwell managed to lure him down from the Highlands.

To hear then that St Mirren are now (understandably) trying to prise him away to Paisley was a concern, particularly when it now seems clear that historically comparable sides like the Saints seem willing and able to gazump Motherwell these days when it comes to salaries.

While the thoughts of the fans are rightly in the here and now when it comes to ins and outs given the still precarious league position the team are in, the management team will hopefully be well on top of planning for next season already. And he should be central to those plans.

If it hasn’t already been done, an offer should be made to Spittal post haste. That he has been allowed to enter the last six months of his deal without an extension being agreed can only be attributable to the piffling matter that Motherwell don’t quite yet know which division they will be playing in next season.

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Hopefully that won’t be on Spittal’s mind right now, and the club are impressing upon him just how important a figure he is within the squad. Better players have come and gone, of course, but he is someone who leads by example both on and off the park, and he would be a huge loss to the club.

It would be particularly sore if he was to end up leaving and improving one of Motherwell’s rivals, and St Mirren too, who have mostly made hay by picking off players from Fir Park over the past few years.

His second goal against Alloa recently was a joy to behold, and while I was disappointed the paper didn’t use my ‘Spit Double’ headline suggestion on the match report from that game, he again underlined his importance with the cross for Theo Bair’s goal against St Johnstone at the weekend.

So, whatever the next few hours bring in terms of short-terms fixes, we will rake over the coals of that and what it means for the rest of this season in next week’s edition.

In the bigger picture, securing the long-term future of one of their key men has to then become a priority.