Oran Kearney looking to secure permanent deal for Mihai Popescu

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St Mirren hope to re-sign Mihai Popescu (Jane Barlow/PA)

St Mirren manager Oran Kearney is still hopeful he can bring Mihai Popescu back to the club.

The Romanian defender moved to Paisley on loan from Dinamo Bucharest in January, making 17 appearances to help secure the Buddies’ status as a Ladbrokes Premiership side.

The 26-year-old remains under contract at Bucharest and his club are looking for a transfer fee but Kearney believes both the defender and Brighton midfielder Anders Dreyer could be tempted back.

“It would be brilliant to be able to get those guys back,” he told the BuddieVision online channel.

“It’s in the hands probably of their agents at this point and you’re trying to strike those deals.

“With Mihai, it’s well publicised that they’re looking for a fee. It’s quite complicated at this time but we would be doing everything we possibly can to get him back.”

The pair were among nine players the Buddies had on loan in the second half of the season and Kearney admits he is looking for more stability in his squad.

“With every passing window I think we want to have less and less loan players and you don’t want to be going through the periods of transition that we’ve gone through at Christmas and even last summer before I was here,” he said.

“I think it’s important to try and stabilise the club and make sure we have a real cohort of players who are on possibly longer than one-year contracts to give the club that bit of stability.”

Kearney, who is also looking to re-sign defenders Gary Mackenzie and Mateo Muzek on new deals, added: “At the minute we have about 12 or 13 players, ideally we want to get that to around 20 or 21, to make us as competitive as possible next season.”

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