The January sales are here but if you are an Aberdeen supporter, or more importantly Dons manager Derek McInnes, keeping players is more likely to be top of the agenda this month.
Callum Morris is gone, without having kicked ball for the first team, to pastures new at Dunfermline while Miles Storey could join him in making an exit this month after an uneventful first half of the season at Pittodrie.
Caley Thistle are favourites to bring the former Swindon Town forward back to the Highlands in a move which would seem to suit all three parties. The Dons don’t want a player who is not involved, Caley Jags badly need a goalscorer and Storey just wants to play.
McInnes is still waiting on Norwich to officially approve James Maddison’s return on loan for the second half of the season and his return would be as welcome as any new addition by the Dons faithful.
The Dons manager will be hoping to add at least one more face, likely in midfield, but it seems McInnes has bigger fish to fry when it comes to his squad with several members of his squad now free to talk to other clubs.
Hearts have made their interest in Niall McGinn known and have offered the Northern Ireland international a three-year deal . My understanding is, if he does decide to go, McGinn won’t leave the Dons for another Scottish club at the end of the season with his preference being to have another crack at English football.
There is still a good chance McGInn won’t go anywhere of course but it is clear the Dons face a fight to hang on to their man who has been a consistent and valuable member of the team since he arrived at Pittodrie.
McGinn is not the only Dons player counting down the days of his contract, however, with Andy Considine, Ashton Taylor and Peter Pawlett also included on a list topped by captain Ryan Jack.
A quick scan of the list of names makes for worrying reading with the quintet of players forming the core of the Aberdeen team in the McInnes era.
One or two clubs down south may be tempted to make a cheeky bid just to test Aberdeen’s resolve while another player, Jonny Hayes, continues to be linked with Championship sides despite having 18 months of his Dons deal remaining.
If the window closed today it’s unlikely McInnes would be too disappointed but it is clear February 1 cannot come quick enough.
Players nearing the end of their contract can sign for another club outwith the window of course but at least such an event will give McInnes some time to source replacements.
After all, the manager prides himself on working a window or two ahead of schedule. He knows this scenario has been looming. We may be about to find out how prepared he is for it.