Toon likely to sign in transfer ‘panic week’

Peterhead's Stephen O'Neill
Peterhead's Stephen O'Neill

As the 42 SPFL clubs enter the final week of the January transfer window, Peterhead boss Jim McInally remains confident he can bring in a new player.

The Buchanie understands McInally has been close to signing several centre backs but so far no deal has materialised.

The former Greenock Morton manager was hopeful of bringing in Jonathan Page from his old side but the defender has since signed for Dunfermline.

Page’s move, however, does free up Dundee United’s Ross Smith - who starred at Peterhead as a loanee last season - who has been training with Dunfermline.

It looks unlikely that Smith has a future at Tannadice Park and boss Jackie McNamara is eager to find the 21-year-old first team football elsewhere.

Whether McInally will move for Smith in the next week is yet to be seen.

It looks more likely that McInally will add another Dundee United youngster to the Balmoor ranks though.

He said: “I spoke to Jackie last night about a wee leftsided midfielder.

“Jackie says he’ll let him come if he wants to come.

“The boy was out of contract at the end of the season but Jackie’s been impressed and he’s going to offer him a new contract and ask if he’d like to come out on loan to us.

“Hopefully that will give the boy a boost - it would be nice for him to come to Peterhead knowing that he’s got an extenstion to his contract to go back to.

“He can come and enjoy himself rather than be under the pressure of worrying about his future.

“That was my concern with Stephen O’Neill who we had earlier this season.

“He is out of contract with Aberdeen at the end of the season and I didn’t want to be part of that decision.

“If Stephen wasn’t playing her, as an Aberdeen manager you would question whether he’s got what it takes to play for Aberdeen if he can’t get a game for Peterhead in a lower league.”

The window closes on Saturday, February 1.