Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is optimistic he will add to his squad before the transfer window closes this month.
Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Motherwell are among the clubs who have already bolstered their squad, while Hibernian are close to adding Sporting Lisbon midfielder Ryan Gauld.
The Dons boss put his players through their paces on the first day of training in Dubai yesterday with several long-term injured players back among the ranks but McInnes is in the market for a new left-back to replace Max Lowe after he was recalled by Derby County.
He said: “We’re always hopeful we can get some business done.
“Our form in December was good and we were pleased with our work but there are 19 league games left and a cup we want to win so we are trying to get the squad in place that we can make those additions.
“It is difficult to bring in players in any window but especially in the January window but we will do our best.”
While there are no new faces as yet the Dons boss has been encouraged by the return of several players.
Gary Mackay-Steven is in contention to return for the Scottish Cup fourth round tie with Stenhousemuir next week.
The Dons winger has been absent since suffering a concussion in the Betfred Cup final against Celtic last month but has joined up with his team-mates in Dubai.
He took part in the warm-up at training yesterday, at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence, before breaking off with Mikey Devlin, Stevie May, Shay Logan and Niall McGinn to undertake extra fitness work. Logan damaged his hamstring in the 2-1 over Livingston prior to the winter break and Devlin has been missing since November after injuring his foot on Scotland duty.
There were no surprises in the makeup of the touring party, with no new signings or trialists in the squad. Mark Reynolds and Tommie Hoban were both full participants in Wednesday’s session, after knee and shoulder injuries, but Bruce Anderson (calf) and Frank Ross (back) remained in Aberdeen for treatment.
McInnes said: “Gary Mackay-Steven has got his boots back on too and it is nice to see him back training and hopefully Mikey Devlin will be able to take part by the end of the week and involved with the main group.
“Tommie Hoban joined in but we will need to gauge him carefully as we go along. It’s maybe a bit ambitious to expect him to take part in every session after being out for so long but it’s great to have him back. Tommie had a big influence at the start of the season and is someone who we were keen to have back.”
However, McInnes is concerned Anderson’s injury woes are more serious with the striker also troubled by a shoulder injury suffered at Livingston on December 29.
The Dons boss said: “Bruce has a problem with his shoulder and not just his calf after the Livi game so he will see a specialist on Thursday and it looks pretty bleak to be honest. It looks like he will be out for a while, but we’ll know more on Thursday.”
In the absence of injured duo Ross and Anderson, youngsters Ethan Ross and Miko Virtanen accompanied the first-team squad.