Caley Thistle’s move for Moroccan forward Farid El Alagui could be scuppered by finances, with Kevin McNaughton’s Achilles injury meaning a defender is top of manager Richie Foran’s priority list.
El Alagui has impressed Foran during a trial with Caley Jags, in which he scored five goals in two bounce matches against Clachnacuddin and Nairn County.
The 31-year-old is a free agent after leaving Championship side Hibernian at the end of last season, following an injury-hit two-year spell at Easter Road in which he played just 21 games, netting seven goals.
Summer signing McNaughton, pictured, could miss the season after surgery on an Achilles injury suffered in Saturday’s 3-2 Highland derby loss to Ross County, and although not ruling out a deal for El Alagui, Foran’s focus has shifted towards finding a replacement defender.
Foran said: “We’re going to look for another defender, someone versatile like Kevin who can play across the back. It will be tough to find another gem like him, but we’re on the lookout. We have another 10 or 11 days, so there is no panic. It’s all about using our finances wisely.
“We need a good defender coming in, someone with a fair bit of experience, those types don’t come cheap.
“So that’s my priority now and I’d like to sign a forward as well.
“Farid has gone home. We’re going to have a chat with his agent to see what we can do. I still haven’t made a decision.
“There’s a little more talking to do. We have to look at our finances, with Kevin getting injured. Farid has done really well for us, he’s just lacking that bit of sharpness after being out for some time. He’s had no injury problems, it is just down to whether he is ready. We need players who’re ready to come into the team. Whether he is or not, I’m just not sure.”
McNaughton’s absence could spell a quick return for defender Josh Meekings, who has not played a competitive match this season but came through the 90 minutes of Tuesday’s 5-1 friendly win against Nairn.
Foran was disappointed in his pursuit of young Aberdeen midfielder Scott Wright, with the Dons rejecting a loan offer from Caley Jags for the 19-year-old, and the Inverness manager added: “We had a chat over the last month about Scott. He’s a fantastic prospect, but they want to hang on to him. They’re not wanting to let him out on loan just yet, which is a little disappointing. I watched him a couple of times and really liked what I saw.”