James McPake has assured fans Dundee will be ready to hit the ground running after the coronavirus shutdown but admits the club “cannot go out and offer someone a three-year deal at the moment”.
The Dens Park gaffer says he’s doing everything he can to prepare for next season, whenever it might start, despite the entire playing staff being put on furlough leave.
With no indication yet when football will restart, clubs are understandably not in a position to sign new players – McPake, though, says he’s doing all he can to be ready for when the transfer market kicks back into life.
The Dens gaffer said: “It has been an ongoing process since last summer.
“We certainly cannot go out and offer someone a three-year deal at the moment.
“But what is never going to stop or change is that we firmly believe we have a process in place for recruitment.
“It has to get better but the fundamentals of what we do won’t change.
“We have been working on this since last summer with regards to the January transfer window and then this summer’s transfer window.
“So it is still ongoing. Hopefully, when the time’s right and everybody is safe, we need to make sure we are ready to go.”
Dundee have been heavily linked with a return for striker Simon Murray, who is a free agent after leaving South African side Bidvest Wits last month, while a permanent move for St Johnstone midfielder Ross Callachan could also be on the cards.
His loan spell at Dens was ended prematurely with a broken leg but impressed in his short time there and is out of contract in the summer.
McPake has also never hidden his desire to see Hearts forward Craig Wighton back with the Dark Blues.
The current concern for teams like Dundee in the lower divisions, however, is how next campaign might look.
The SPFL have begun a league reconstruction task force led by Hearts chair Ann Budge and Hamilton chief Les Gray to revamp the setup for the new campaign.
Dens Park managing director John Nelms is part of the 15-strong reconstruction group but McPake admits he’ll be happy with whatever future is decided, as long as it benefits the game as a whole.
He added: “My preferred option is that we just find a way to get something that works.
“Look, we need to make sure everything is safe first.
“Do I have a preferred option? I would love to be in the Premiership but we had a chance to do that ourselves this season and we failed.
“If we had won the league, it would have been a given.
“But if reconstruction happens, whatever way, I just hope they do it so that it suits the game going forward.
“Would our input as managers help? But do we then ask players as well?
“It is a tough one. Do I want to be involved? No, I am happy to leave it to the powers-that-be and just concentrate on my job getting our squad ready so that when we do get the green light to go ahead we can do that.
“I just want football back, I think society wants football back and if reconstruction comes in then great.
“But there are people out there risking their lives to save lives so they are the real important ones.”