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Sport The 6 Premiership bosses with unfinished business as Celtic and Rangers lead deadline-busting push

15:00  03 october  2020
15:00  03 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Less than 72 hours remain until the transfer window 'slams shut', one of the more aggressive phrases in the footballing lexicon.

Deadline day is often just known as Monday in Scotland but by the sounds of it we could be in for a flurry of late deals if our managers' comments are anything to go by.

So what Premiership clubs are looking to sign players before then?

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Here are five sides who believe they still have some loose ends to tie up before close of business on October 5.

Celtic

Neil Lennon looking at the camera © FEHIM DEMIR/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

The Premiership holders have known that there remains a hole to be filled at left-back ever since Covid rebel Boli Bolingoli's actions.

But the drama of Boli's Spanish escape unfolded nearly two months ago and Neil Lennon has still not found a replacement left-back despite being heavily linked with Charlton's Alfie Doughty.

However, it will come as a comfort to Celtic fans that none of the club's big stars - Odsonne Edouard, Kris Ajer, Olivier Ntcham - look like leaving unless a massive bid arrives in the coming days.

The Irishman will try to bring a player in if the right man is available but if not he's still delighted with his squad.

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Lennon said: "We want the week to end as soon as possible, we want to keep all our players, if we can add one then great but if we can't then I'm still very happy with the bunch of players we've got.

"Things will settle down, there will be a lot more focus on our season after that. I don't think that's an issue in terms of players leaving.

"I think the club is quite strong on that, we don't want anyone to leave."

Rangers

a person that is standing in the grass © PA

Out to stop the Hoops' 10 In A Row charge are Steven Gerrard's men and the manager has been looking for a new dynamic midfielder for some weeks.

Friday's rumour was that Everton's Muhamed Besic had crossed the border for a medical in Glasgow - which was promptly shut down by the manager, who said it was "news to me".

Besic joins a long list of linked names in terms of a potential midfield signing, the first of which was South African midfielder Bongani Zungu back in early summer. English talents John Lundstram and Daniel Johnson would follow later in the window.

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Academy product Lingard has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League since February and is clearly out of Solskjaer's plans. One player who looks certain to leave before the deadline is Rose, who has not even been given a squad number after falling out with Mourinho last

Gerrard said: "There certainly won’t be (multiple) additions. If we do well in the next couple of days there might be an addition.

"Does qualifying give us more flexibility ahead of the deadline on Monday? It’s a difficult question to answer, probably better suited to other people above me at this football club.

"The board, myself and Ross are still trying to add the person in the position we feel we need before the window shuts.”

Meanwhile, interest in Alfredo Morelos seems to have cooled in recent weeks - music to the ears of Rangers fans who were resigned to losing him in the throes of Lille's strategy to tempt the Colombian to Ligue 1.

Aberdeen

Derek McInnes standing in front of a building © SNS Group

The Dons appear to have changed their mind on transfer activity in recent days.

Manager Derek McInnes was all prepared to pull the shutters down at Pittodrie following the departure of Scott McKenna to Nottingham Forest.

But now it seems like conversations with the Aberdeen board have opened up one last opportunity to bring in a new signing. That may well be at centre-back to cover the loss of McKenna or it could be in another position entirely.

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Rangers boss Steven Gerrard looks well placed to challenge for silverware in Scotland this season after a respectable campaign last time out. Rangers fans are confident in the team after some astute signings and the uncertainty surrounding Neil Lennon at Parkhead toward the end of last season.

The manager has also stated that a second bid for striker Sam Cosgrove - back training after a knee injury - from French side Guingamp is unlikely.

McInnes initially said: "There are no plans to do anything before Monday. We've been really grateful for the support we've had to add the players we have done so this season, with Jonny, Marley, Tommie and Ross."

But things seem to have changed because after Friday night's dramatic 2-1 win over St Mirren he told the BBC: "The chairman's been very supportive up until now and hopefully we can get some work done to do that.

"We're going to try set up a few of the younger ones to go out on loan. We would like to maybe try and do one bit of business before the window closes."

Hibs

Jack Ross posing for the camera © SNS Group

The Hibees are set to pay their second fee of the window with the impending arrival of midfielder Kyle Magennis.

It comes after two bids from Easter Road were rejected for the Buddies playmaker but at the third time of asking the Paisley club have reluctantly accepted.

Shortly before kick-off in Friday's 3-2 win against Hamilton, manager Jack Ross provided an update on that deal.

"I've just been told that it's almost there," he told the BBC. "Kyle will be here tonight to watch the game and he has worked through most of his medical today. I think there are some formalities still to be agreed.

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"I hope it will be concluded very soon but equally it isn't done yet."

It does seem like Magennis, who should be confirmed as Hibs ' sixth signing in the coming days, will be the final piece of business for the capital club.

Ross seems to have chosen the 22-year-old over Motherwell's Allan Campbell, who like Magennis is out of contract next summer.

“If we do anything else it would be out the blue," Ross said. "I'm pretty happy with my group."

St Mirren

Jim Goodwin standing in front of a football field: Saints boss Jim Goodwin © SNS Group Saints boss Jim Goodwin

Of course, the loss of Magennis should have a knock-on effect for Jim Goodwin's side and their plans late in the window.

His side might have almost snatched a draw up at Pittodrie but for Lewis Ferguson's 90th minute winner but they were only able to name four substitutes out of a possible nine.

The Irish boss was missing a number of players through a mixture of injury and suspension but that's still a worrying sight for Buddies fans.

He said: "I had a good conversation with him (Magennis) last week and I told him that we could not possibly sell him in the circumstances. We have a real lack of bodies with injuries and everything.

"Hibs are very lucky to get him. I am gutted to lose him but unfortunately something happened yesterday into last night. A bid was too good to turn down and he’s no longer our player."

Goodwin knows it will be hard for a club with St Mirren's finances to replace him with just days left in the window but he is looking for some capable defensive cover.

He said: “We are looking at the moment. It’s fair to say we’re a little bit light at the back and that’s an area of the park we’re continuing to look at.

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“We could do with another defender in and if we can do something to bring one in before the window closing then that’s something we will do."

Dundee United

  The 6 Premiership bosses with unfinished business as Celtic and Rangers lead deadline-busting push © SNS Group

The Arabs were tantalised by the prospect of La Liga prospect Jeando Fuchs joining permanently from Alaves. But since that revelation it's been a waiting game.

The Cameroon international would be a brilliant piece of business. He's already clocked more than a century of Ligue 2 appearances at the age of 22 from his time at Sochaux.

Of course, pulling off such a transfer would prove difficult for most Scottish clubs. So it comes as little surprise that this deal might go down to the wire.

But Dundee United fans can relax slightly after manager Micky Mellon's recent comments on the deal. "He is coming over for his medical," he said.

"Hopefully we can get it all tied up soon. He has not signed yet but the two clubs have certainly agreed a deal and he is on the way with his family now over to Scotland."

Quiet bars and empty stadiums replace raucous crowds on derby day .
Outside both stadiums - Everton's Goodison Park and Celtic's Celtic Park - police had to stop desperate fans from gathering en-masse ahead of their team's derby games.Football fans have not been allowed back into stadiums since football restarted in June and August for England and Scotland respectively.

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