Aberdeen were today closing in on the signing of Hamilton Accies’ centre-back Mikey Devlin.
The 24-year-old will be a free agent in the summer when his contract expires and could sign a pre-contract agreement with the Dons.
However, both clubs are keen to complete a permanent deal before the January transfer window closes, which would see the Reds pay a fee to Accies.
Devlin is currently sidelined with a long-term knee injury and is not expected to return to action until March.
However, it is understood Dons boss Derek McInnes is keen to sign up Devlin now so that he can step up his rehabilitation at Pittodrie and feature later in the season.
The deal looked in jeopardy when Accies released a statement on Wednesday they had agreed a financial deal with Preston North End for the transfer of defender Devlin.
However, Preston have categorically denied a deal was ever going to be done.
Sources close to Preston have confirmed to the Evening Express the Deepdale club have no interest in Devlin.
Preston boss Alex Neil is not believed to be on the lookout for defenders.
Boss McInnes revealed the Reds spoke to Devlin last month.
Devlin, who has made 147 appearances for Hamilton, is understood to be set to travel to the North-east for further talks and to undergo a medical.
Meanwhile, it was today hanging in the balance whether Manchester City midfielder Chidiebere Nwakali will be available to make his long-awaited Dons debut against Kilmarnock tomorrow.
A work permit for the Nigerian World Cup hopeful has yet to be secured, although the Reds continue to push to have the paperwork in time for him to face the Rugby Park outfit.
Nwakali has agreed a loan deal until the end of the season and featured in the 2-0 loss to Lokomotiv Tashkent during the training camp in Dubai.
He was able to feature in that match because it was not an official game.
Keeper Joe Lewis underwent further scans last night on the leg injury that saw him stretchered off in the 2-0 win against Rangers at Ibrox.
Aberdeen are set to find out the extent of the injury, although it has already been confirmed it was not a leg break.