Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson has hailed the club’s hierarchy for backing him in the transfer market as they look to do more business outwith the window.
United brought in former Hamilton striker Rakish Bingham last week and have currently got French-Tunisian midfield man Manoubi Haddad on trial.
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder was most recently with Club Africain in the Tunisian top division after a spell with Olympique Beja in the country’s second tier.
His youth career took in Le Havre and Amiens in France, with Haddad now looking to build a career in the UK. And Robbie has been impressed with what he’s seen so far as Haddad looks to win a deal at Tannadice.
“We have a boy on trial for the next couple of days,” he said.
“He trained Monday and played for the reserves against St Mirren yesterday. We will look at him the rest of the week.
“We are looking for pace in the wide areas and he fits that bill.
“He thought he would get a move in January and it didn’t happen but we have managed to get him in as he is a free agent.
“It is through (sporting director) Tony Asghar’s scouting contacts.
“We actually had a look at him in the summer but we couldn’t get it done then and now we have this opportunity to get him in.
“He’s very tricky with good pace and delivery. He’s experienced as well so we’ll see how he does this week and make a decision.”
Although it is not clear whether the Tangerines are set to offer Haddad a deal, Robbie has hailed Asghar and owner Mark Ogren for allowing him to strengthen his squad at all times.
And that includes developing players for the first team through their academy system.
“The chairman and Tony have shown ambition right from the start,” he added.
“It is not just about the here and now but also building for the future and in the academy, as well as bringing players in, developing them and selling them on for profit.
“When Tony come in, he spoke to me about the ethos of the club and it’s always been bringing through young players. Jackie McNamara did it with guys like Stuart Armstrong and Andy Robertson coming into the team and moving up to another level.
“It’s like we’ve done with Lawrence Shankland, whether they’re here from the start with the academy or been brought in, it’s very important for this club.
“It’s a great platform for players to come in and progress.
“With Shankland, he scored a lot of goals at Ayr but then comes here and develops again.
“He’s got the opportunity to go to a higher level now.”
Two players earmarked for the future are Chris Mochrie and Lewis Neilson after the pair earned Scotland U/17 caps recently.
“It’s great. We’re pleased with them and they’re in and about the first-team squad.
“We’d like to get Lewis some game time, Chris has had some.
“We’ve got a few good young ones out on loan. Ross Graham is up at Elgin, Jake Davidson and Adam King are at Queen’s Park, so we’ve got a lot of younger ones we expect to get game time and come back in the summer to push for a first-team place.”
One player who United might have to wait for is Dunfermline striker Kevin Nisbet.
Of their interest in the 22-goal hitman, Robbie added: “He is a player that a lot of people like.
“He is staying at Dunfermline but there was a bit of interest from a lot of clubs.
“We were keen to get him in but we didn’t manage to do it and it something we will re-assess in the summer.
“Things change and, from our perspective, it will probably come down to Shankland and whether he stays or goes.
“There are players in the Championship who can do it in the top-flight. Nisbet is one, I feel, can take the step up.
“We will continue to monitor.”