Aberdeen’s search for a central defensive signing looks likely to move away from both Watford’s Mattie Pollock and Wigan Athletic’s Jason Kerr, with suggestions both will be staying put at their parent clubs.
The Press and Journal revealed earlier today the Dons could make two more signings before the window shuts on Thursday night, and multiple options for both a centre-back and attacker were being explored.
Ahead of Thursday’s 11.30pm deadline, the Dons are pushing to land a central defender.
Rubezic injury severity intensifies centre-back hunt
The Reds hoped to get clarity today, following scans, on the severity of Montenegro international centre-half Slobodan Rubezic’s knee problem.
But the injury, suffered by the stopper in last week’s draw with St Johnstone, is expected to sideline the summer signing for a significant period – potentially months.
Rubezic, 23, has been pictured on social media wearing a brace on the affected knee in recent days.
With another defender, Midtjylland loanee Stefan Gartenmann, struggling with a toe issue, Aberdeen had several centre-back reinforcement options in the fire.
Pollock and Kerr out of frame for Dons?
Among those options had been loan deals for Watford’s Mattie Pollock or former St Johnstone skipper Jason Kerr, now at Wigan Athletic – though we revealed there were obstacles to both players joining the Reds for the rest of the campaign.
Pollock had a successful loan spell at Pittodrie in the second half of last season as Aberdeen battled to third place in the Premiership.
The Dons and 22-year-old were both angling for a permanent deal in the summer, but English Championship Watford’s fee expectations proved to be a sticking point.
Pollock has gone on to make eight substitute appearances in the Championship for the Hornets this term, and played 90 minutes of Watford’s FA Cup draw with Southampton at the weekend.
Aberdeen had enquired about bringing Pollock, who is contracted with Watford for two more years, back to the north-east for another loan until the end of the season.
However, on Tuesday evening, the Vicarage Road club tweeted Pollock will be staying to fight for his place in the second half of the campaign.
Mattie Pollock is pleased to be staying to fight for a starting place. ✊
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) January 30, 2024
An alternative loan option which had been worked on by the Dons hierarchy was cup double-winning ex-St Johnstone captain Kerr, who is out of contract at Wigan this summer.
Kerr recently returned to action for League One Wigan after more than a year out following a serious knee injury, and started their defeat to Stevenage at the weekend.
Though a deal to bring Kerr to Pittodrie was close in recent days, he, too, looks set to stay with his parent club in second half of the season, according to Wigan Today, with the Shaun Maloney-bossed Latics said to be keen to not only keep the 26-year-old at the club in the coming months, but to tie him to a new contract.
Aberdeen are understood to have a couple of other centre-backs – ones less familiar to Scottish football fans – on their radar.
Attacker also on agenda; Phillips intended to fill Ramadani void
As well as bringing in a reinforcement at centre-half, and though less developed at present, the Dons are also understood to be looking at several options for an attacking signing before the January transfer window shuts on Thursday.
Much has been made of the lack of wide options as Barry Robson’s squad – eighth in the Premiership ahead of tonight’s home clash with Dundee – have toiled in the league this term.
The Aberdeen hierarchy’s main priority for the January window was adding steel in midfield, which has been lacking following Ylber Ramadani’s departure for Italian side Lecce in the summer.
They think this need has been fulfilled in landing 21-year-old Killian Phillips on loan from English Premier League Crystal Palace.
Duk in unexpected absence from squad for Dundee clash
In terms of outgoings from Pittodrie, while there has been speculation on the future of star striker Bojan Miovski and last season’s player of the year-winning forward Duk, it was understood there had been no significant interest or approaches for the duo in the window as of Tuesday morning.
Duk’s unexpected absence from the match-day squad for tonight’s clash with Dundee has put the Red Army on red alert as to a potential late exit – however, boss Robson said there had been illness in the Dons camp in the build-up to the match.