Dundee United have targeted two new faces ahead of today’s home clash with Partick Thistle.
After labelling his squad not good enough to win promotion in the wake of the defeat at Alloa last week, boss Robbie Neilson has been hard at work this week to bring in some of the players he’d already targeted for the January transfer window.
He will team up again with young striker Aidan Nesbitt, who played under Robbie during their spell at MK Dons.
The 21-year-old signed yesterday on a deal until the end of the season.
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) January 4, 2019
Nesbitt told the United website: “It’s a big club, and I am delighted to be here. The aim is to play football regularly with the goal of helping United reach the Premiership and hopefully secure a longer deal.”
Neilson said: “Aidan is someone I know well. I paid money to take him to MK Dons and his first season was excellent.
“It hasn’t worked for him under a new manager down there, but I see him as the type of creative player who can help us produce more in the final third of the park.”
Another possible target is midfielder Ian Harkes, who was recently released by MLS side DC United, where he’s been a team-mate of Wayne Rooney.
Harkes, 23, is the son of former USA international John and qualifies to play in this country because he was born in England during his father’s time with Derby County.
By next week they could also be joined by former Tangerines favourite Morgaro Gomis. The 2010 Scottish Cup winner has been training with the squad since his return from a spell in the Middle East.
Other than 33-year-old Gomis, the manager has refused to identify any potential signings until deals are complete.
Nesbitt’s arrival will move striker Craig Curran closer to a switch to team up with his former boss, Jim McIntyre, at Dundee.
The Liverpudlian has not been a regular starter since switching from Ross County in the summer and, while he’s in contention for a place tomorrow, if United make the signings they want, he’s likely to be allowed to go.
“There’s interest in quite a few of the players and, obviously, Jim’s got a big relationship with Craig and we’ll see how that goes in the next few weeks,” said Robbie.
“I really like Craig, he’ll be involved with us tomorrow and ultimately time will tell.”
A number of players have already been told they are no longer part of the plans. Until departures are confirmed, Robbie would not name names.
It’s believed, though, that one of them is defender-cum-midfielder Adam Barton, while winger Yannick Loemba is another who’s not likely to be seen again in tangerine.
Since Robbie took charge in October, former Jag Barton has had just 21 minutes of game time via two sub appearances.
He’s set to move back to England where he’s spent most of his career.
Loemba’s time on the pitch has been even more limited under the new boss and amounts to a four-minute appearance against Inverness in October.
Like Barton, the Congolese-born Belgian passport holder only arrived in the summer. With signings set to continue, there will be more departures.
“It’s like anything in football, we need to move people in and we need to move people out,” added Robbie.