Mark McGhee could make Forest Green Rovers star Elliot Frear his first signing of the January transfer window.
Scottish Premiership side Motherwell are reportedly closing in on the signing of one of the National League’s most sought after players.
Winger Elliot Frear has been a key component this season for a Forest Green Rovers currently second in the fifth tier of English football and challenging for a return to the Football League.
The 26-year-old has made 19 appearances this season but apparently took a Diego Costa and Dimitri Payet like stance by refusing to play in Saturday’s 2-0 FA Trophy win at Chester, amid growing speculation he is about to make a move north of the border.
Speaking about Frear’s absence, Forest Green boss Mark Cooper said: “Elliot has said he doesn’t want to play for the club anymore and we have to move on.
“There has now been interest as far as I know and we need players that want to be with us going forward.”
But in his defence, Frear tweeted: “Just to confirm I haven’t refused to play today, still struggling from injury last weekend. I’m a professional & would never refuse to play.”
A former England C international, Frear then signed a two-year contract at the New Lawn the following year and helped Forest Green reach the National League Promotion Final last season, when they lost 3-1 to Grimsby Town at Wembley.
He is set to become the Steelmen’s first signing of the January transfer window as Mark McGhee looks to boost his squad before next weekend’s Scottish Cup fourth round tie against Rangers at Ibrox.
With the Scottish top-flight currently on a three-week winter break, Motherwell lie ninth in the table, two points behind sixth-placed Ross County, but will be hopeful of securing a top-half finish in the second half of the season.
The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move away from Glasgow in January but he appears to have given assurances on his future.
Celtic fans can breathe a sigh of relief as red-hot striker Moussa Dembele appears to have given some clarity about his immediate future.
The Frenchman has ripped up the Scottish Premiership since arriving last summer from English Championship side Fulham and is the champions’ top scorer so far this season with 19 goals in all competitions.
The 20-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away in the January transfer window, with English Premier League outfit West Ham United reportedly keen in signing him.
But, according to Celtic Quote on Twitter, Dembele has now reassured the Hoops supporters that he is going nowhere – at least for now.
In a recent interview, he said: “I have a four-year contract and I don’t see myself leaving Celtic. I’m not leaving in the January window.”
"I have a 4 year contract and I don't see myself leaving Celtic. I'm not leaving in the January window." Moussa Dembele pic.twitter.com/WClCHR08Pr
He said: “Even if a club offered what we thought was the player’s worth now, we don’t need to do it. We want to improve and keep developing as a team.
“I respect the market in Scotland because it is tough. I can imagine that if someone comes in with, say £20 million it’s like ‘bloody hell’. I can understand that.
“But if you invest some more time then you can maybe get even more money.”
Earlier this week, former Celtic frontman Charlie Nicholas gave his view that Dembele shouldn’t be in a rush to leave Glasgow and should carefully consider who his next club should be.
The Sky Sports pundit said: “If the right club comes in then make sure it is the right club for you. I can judge that, because I had a lot of clubs after me.
“Is he going to get a game at Arsenal? I would say not. All the top clubs? I would say not yet. In a year’s time? A strong possibility.”
The forward has played a huge part in the club’s success so far this season – with Celtic having already won the League Cup and holding a 19-point lead at the top of the Premiership after a 2-1 win over second-placed Rangers at Ibrox on New Year’s Eve.
But, identifying two key positions he feels the Yorkshire club need more cover, former Bradford and Everton winger Beagrie thinks more transfer activity is required if they are to maintain their promotion challenge.
Speaking before the game, when asked if they need further additions to the squad, Beagrie told Sky Sports: “Yes, I think so. We said before they need to get players who are going to improve this team – not players who are just going to come and be bit-part players.
“They’ve tried to get the loanees secured long-term or as long as possible, that’s happened to a degree, and I think they’ve identified centre-half has been a problem position if important players get injured, and a centre-forward as cover for [Chris] Wood as well.
“If he goes out of the equation I think promotion hopes do slip slightly.”
Fellow pundit David Prutton also highlighted the significance of head coach Monk being able to continue to take care of football matters without interference from the club’s hierarchy.
The former Leeds midfielder said: “That’s fundamental to the way this club moves forward – that’s got to be maintained, letting him get on with the stuff that goes on within the borders of the white markers on the pitch is exactly what he was brought in for and what he’s good at.
“And leave the business to the people who know how to work businesses and maximise businesses.”
Leeds are currently without a number of first-team players through injury and suspension as they prepare for their next game against Yorkshire rivals Barnsley at Oakwell on January 21.
Speaking before Leicester’s game against Chelsea on Saturday, Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri said about Schlupp: “Of course, he is not happy.
“He is a fantastic man, a fantastic player, and I said if he wants to go, he can go.”
The move comes after Palace reportedly had a bid rejected for Sunderland full-back Patrick van Aanholt and were interested in the services of former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, who is now at Juventus.
The Toffees are close to boosting their numbers once again with a second acquisition in the January transfer window in the space of a week.
Everton are edging closer to completing their second signing of the January transfer window.
The Toffees have already captured the signature of promising teenage forward Ademola Lookman, 19, for £11 million from League One side Charlton Athletic.
And boss Ronald Koeman is set to bolster his midfield ranks in the form of Manchester United’s Morgan Schneiderlin, who has reportedly undergone a medical ahead of a £22 million move.
The highly-rated Frenchman has found opportunities at Old Trafford hard to come by since his £25 million move from Southampton – where he previously played under Koeman – in the summer of 2015.
Speaking in his press conference after United’s 2-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg victory over Hull City on Tuesday, Mourinho said of Schneiderlin’s imminent departure: “I’m sad and I’m happy. I’m sad because I like him and he could be an option for us in a long season.
“I’m happy because this is what he wants, he wants to play every game and wants to be an important player in the team.
“If this is what he wants I’m happy for a very good professional and someone that I can only say good things about.”
Schneiderlin made 39 appearances in his first season with the Reds under Louis van Gaal but has only made three starts and five substitute appearances this term under Mourinho.
He would still have stiff competition, however, should he make the switch to Goodison Park – battling for a starting berth with Ross Barkley, Idrissa Gueye, James McCarthy, Tom Cleverley and Gareth Barry.
Everton are currently seventh in the Premier League, with 30 points from 20 games, but 12 points adrift of the top four.
With the countdown to the start of the 2016-17 Scottish Premiership season underway, stay updated with all of the summer moves as the 12 clubs shape their squads for the new campaign.
AS the days and weeks tick by during the summer months, the 12 clubs in the Scottish Premiership are quietly going about their transfer business.
Although the European Championship finals in France provide a welcome distraction, the announcement of the fixtures has accelerated excitement ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
The return of Rangers, arrival of high-profile managers and attraction of established stars has only added to the anticipation that next season has the potential to be one of Scottish football’s best yet.
Teams are already going full steam ahead to conclude their deals sooner rather than later, with players coming and going all the time – some seasoned campaigners and others young rookies.
Here is a full list of all the happenings as they are confirmed:
IN: Jayden Stockley (from AFC Bournemouth, free transfer) *
Miles Storey (from Swindon Town, free transfer)
Joe Lewis (from Cardiff City, free transfer)
Neil Alexander (from Hearts, free transfer)
Callum Morris (from Dundee United, free transfer)
Wes Burns (from Bristol City, season-long loan)
James Maddison (from Norwich City, season-long loan)
OUT: David Goodwillie (to Plymouth Argyle, free transfer)
Simon Church (returned to MK Dons at end of loan spell)
Adam Collin (returned to Rotherham at end of loan spell)
Barry Robson (retired)
Michael Rose (to Ayr United, free transfer)
Scott Brown (released)
Aaron Lennox (to Raith Rovers, season-long loan)
Willo Flood (to Dundee United, free transfer)
Cammy Smith (to Dundee United, season-long loan)
IN: Aidan Nesbitt (from Partick Thistle, end of loan spell)
Kristoffer Ajer (from IK Start, undisclosed fee)
Moussa Dembele (from Fulham, undisclosed fee)
PJ Crossan (from Dunfermline, free transfer)
Kolo Toure (from Liverpool, free transfer)
Dorus de Vries (from Nottingham Forest, undisclosed fee)
Scott Sinclair (from Aston Villa, £3 million)
Cristian Gamboa (from West Bromwich Albion, undisclosed fee)
OUT: Anthony Stokes (to Blackburn Rovers, free transfer)
Colin Kazim-Richards (to Coritiba, free transfer)
Carlton Cole (to Sacramento Republic, free transfer)
Stefan Scepovic (to Getafe, free transfer)
Michael Duffy (to Dundee, season-long loan)
Paul McMullan (to Dunfermline, season-long loan)
Stuart Findlay (to Newcastle United, free transfer)
Scott Allan (to Rotherham United, season-long loan)
Darnell Fisher (to Rotherham United, undisclosed fee)
Stefan Johansen (to Fulham, undisclosed fee)
Saidy Janko (to Barnsley, season-long loan)
Charlie Mulgrew (to Blackburn Rovers, free transfer)
IN: James Vincent (from Inverness CT, free transfer) *
Danny Williams (from Inverness CT, free transfer) *
Yordi Teijsse (from Quick Boys, free transfer)
Mark O’Hara (from Kilmarnock, free transfer)
Michael Duffy (from Celtic, season-long loan)
Faissal El Bakhtaoui (from Dunfermline, free transfer)
Kevin Gomis (from Nice, free transfer)
OUT: Paul McGinn (to Chesterfield, free transfer)
Thomas Konrad (to Vaduz, free transfer)
Daryll Meggatt (to Ayr United, free transfer)
Kevin Thomson (to Tranent, free transfer)
Kane Hemmings (to Oxford United, undisclosed fee)
Greg Stewart (to Birmingham City, free transfer)
Gary Harkins (to Ayr United, free transfer)
Andrew Black (released)
IN: Jordan McGregor (from Hibernian, free transfer)
Jack Breslin (from Celtic, free transfer)
Remi Matthews (from Norwich City, season-long loan) Massimo Donati (from Bari, free transfer) Gary Woods (from Leyton Orient, free transfer) Georgios Sarris (from Kayseri Erciyesspor, free transfer) Dan Seaborne (from Partick Thistle, free transfer)
Rakish Bingham (from Hartlepool United, free transfer)
OUT: Oumar Diaby (released)
Kemy Agustien (released)
Chris Mandiangu (released)
Michael McGovern (to Norwich City, free transfer)
Ziggy Gordon (to Partick Thistle, free transfer)
Carlton Morris (to Norwich City, end of loan spell)
Alan Martin (to Dumbarton, free transfer)
IN: Jacob Blyth (from Leicester City, free transfer) Richard Tait (from Grimsby Town, free transfer)
Ben Heneghan (from Chester, undisclosed fee) Carl McHugh (from Plymouth Argyle, free transfer) Dean Brill (from Inverness CT, free transfer) Craig Clay (from Grimsby Town, free transfer after trial) Ryan Bowman (from Gateshead, undisclosed fee)
OUT: Ben Hall (to Brighton & Hove Albion, undisclosed fee)
Conor Ripley (returned to Middlesbrough after loan spell)
Morgaro Gomis (returned to Hearts after loan spell)
Stephen Pearson (to Atletico de Kolkata, free transfer)
David Clarkson (to St Mirren, free transfer)
Robbie Leitch (to Burnley, undisclosed fee)
Josh Law (to Oldham Athletic, free transfer)
Louis Laing (to Notts County, short-term loan)
James McFadden (becomes assistant manager)
Marvin Johnson (to Oxford United, undisclosed fee)
Wes Fletcher (to the New Saints, free transfer)
Jack Leitch (released)
Brett Long (released)
Luke Watt (to Stranraer, short-term loan)
IN: Chris Erskine (from Dundee United, free transfer) *
Ade Azeez (from AFC Wimbledon, free transfer)
Danny Devine (from Inverness CT, free transfer)
David Syme (from Kilmarnock, free transfer)
Ziggy Gordon (from Hamilton Academical, free transfer)
David Crawford (from Alloa Athletic, free transfer)
Adam Barton (from Portsmouth, undisclosed fee)
OUT: Aidan Nesbitt (returned to Celtic after loan spell) Paul Gallacher (to Hearts, free transfer)
Frederic Frans (to Lierse, free transfer)
Danny Seaborne (to Hamilton Accies, free transfer)
Gary Miller (to Plymouth Argyle, free transfer)
Chris Duggan (to East Fife, free transfer)
Jordan Leyden (released)
Marc Waters (released)
Scot Whiteside (released)
Mathias Pogba (to Sparta Rotterdam, free transfer)
IN: Josh Windass (from Accrington Stanley, free transfer) *
Matt Crooks (from Accrington Stanley, free transfer) *
Jordan Rossiter (from Liverpool, undisclosed fee) *
Joey Barton (from Burnley, free transfer)
Clint Hill (from Queens Park Rangers, free transfer)
Niko Kranjcar (from New York Cosmos, free transfer)
Lee Hodson (from MK Dons, free transfer)
Matt Gilks (from Burnley, free transfer)
Joe Dodoo (from Leicester City, undisclosed fee)
Joe Garner (from Preston North End, undisclosed fee)
Philippe Senderos (from Grasshopper Club Zurich, free transfer)
OUT: Nicky Law (to Bradford City, free transfer)
David Templeton (released)
Nicky Clark (to Bury, free transfer)
Dean Shiels (to Dundalk, free transfer)
Cammy Bell (to Dundee United, free transfer)
Lee Robinson (to Queen of the South, free transfer)
Tom Walsh (to St Mirren, on loan until January)
Luca Gasparotto (to Falkirk, free transfer)
Liam Kelly (to Livingston, season-long loan)
Gedion Zelalem (to Arsenal, end of loan spell)
Dominic Ball (to Tottenham, end of loan spell)
Andy Murdoch (released)
IN: Aaron McCarey (from Wolves, free transfer)
Christopher Routis (from Bradford City, free transfer)
Kenny van der Weg (from Breda, free transfer)
Erik Cikos (from Slovan Bratislava, free transfer)
Jay McEveley (from Sheffield United, free transfer)
Tim Chow (from Wigan Athletic, free transfer)
OUT: Stewart Murdoch (to Dundee United, free transfer)
Rocco Quinn (to St Mirren, free transfer)
Jackson Irvine (to Burton Albion, undisclosed fee)
Gary Woods (to Leyton Orient, end of loan spell)
Raffaele De Vita (released)
Peter Tait (released)
Darren Moffat (released)
Richard Foster (to St Johnstone, free transfer)
Brian Graham (to Hibernian, free transfer)
Scott Boyd (to Kilmarnock, season-long loan)
IN: Paul Paton (from Dundee United, free transfer)
Blair Alston (from Falkirk, free transfer)
Michael Coulson (from York City, free transfer)
Keith Watson (from St Mirren, free transfer)
Richard Foster (from Ross County, free transfer)
Joe Gormley (from Peterborough United, season-long loan)
OUT: Simon Lappin (released)
Scott Brown (released)
Jordan Millar (released)
Greg Kerr (released)
Michael Doyle (to Greenock Morton, free transfer)
Plamen Krachunov (released)
John Sutton (to St Mirren, free transfer)
Neil Martyniuk (to Edinburgh City, free transfer)
Darnell Fisher (to Celtic, end of loan spell)
Brad McKay (to Inverness CT, free transfer)