Ross County hope to sign a goalkeeper by the end of this week to provide short-term cover from Nathan Baxter who is scheduled to return from Chelsea once he recovers from a dislocated shoulder.
The Staggies have been forced to dip into the transfer market after on-loan Blues goalkeeper Baxter suffered the injury during training last week, which is expected to rule him out for around four months.
Englishman Baxter immediately returned to Stamford Bridge for treatment, casting doubt over whether the highly-rated 20-year-old’s temporary stint at Victoria Park, which was agreed last month, would be cut short.
Chelsea have confirmed they are keen for Baxter to return to Dingwall however, with Staggies co-manager Steven Ferguson hopeful of securing temporary competition for Ross Laidlaw ahead of Sunday’s Betfred Cup tie away to St Johnstone.
Ferguson said: “There is nothing yet, but we’re speaking to guys at the moment.
“We just need to make sure, whoever we bring in, it is right for them as well as us.
“We would just be looking at a short-term deal, so it needs to be right for the player and the football club, and for the group.
“If we get that, hopefully by the end of this week, we’ll have a goalkeeper in.
“We need cover for Nathan, but we still need it to be someone who can compete for the number one slot.
“You never say never in football. If somebody comes in and finds themselves in possession of the jersey, and does exceptionally well, the situation might change.
“At the moment, we’ll be really clear in the fact it will be a short-term deal.”
Ferguson is encouraged the Blues want Baxter’s original arrangement with County to be honoured, adding: “Chelsea want him to be here and, more importantly, Nathan wants to be here. We want him to be here.
“It was really unfortunate what happened, but Nathan has had the operation and it has been pretty straightforward.
“We just need to make sure Nathan is right. He’ll do most of his recovery and rehab down at Chelsea because obviously the resources they have down there is top-level.”
County have made a fine start to their Betfred Cup campaign, netting four goals in victories over Montrose and Brechin City, and Ferguson is keen to fully utilise the squad ahead of the opening Premiership fixture at home to Hamilton Accies on August 3.
Ferguson added: “Ultimately, we want to make sure in our heads we know where we’re going in the first league game, but it is still a process.
“We’re still in the middle of pre-season. People need games and time to stake a claim.
“The last two games in the group against St Johnstone and Forfar Athletic will provide that opportunity again. There will be changes over these two games as well.”