Aberdeen are closing in on a deal to sign Tommie Hoban if the defender can prove his fitness.
The former Watford player has been training with the Dons at their Cormack Park facility for the last two days.
Following confirmation Scott McKenna is set to be ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring tear, boss Derek McInnes invited Hoban to the Granite City to train with the Reds.
Republic of Ireland international Hoban is a free agent having been released by the Premier League Hornets last summer.
Hoban has returned to full training having battled back from a cruciate ligament injury suffered last season on loan at Aberdeen.
That injury required surgery and wiped out a year of Hoban’s career.
McInnes, whose side host Hibs today, is keen to secure the versatile defender but Hoban must prove during training that he is fit again.
He said: “We will speak with Tommie over the course of the next few days to see where things go. Tommie trained with us on Thursday and Friday.
“There is no point bringing him up if there was not that potential to sign him.
“We are not paying for flights, putting him in a hotel and letting him train with us just because we want to be good guys.”
Hoban was secured on a season-long loan from Watford in summer 2018 and impressed in both Europa League second qualifying round ties against Premier League Burnley.
However, he suffered a shoulder injury in a 1-1 draw with Hibs in August that required surgery and ruled him out for five months.
On his return to fitness Hoban played a further six times before suffering the season ending anterior cruciate ligament injury against St Mirren last February.
McInnes said: “We enjoy working with Tommie and I think he is a brilliant footballer.
“He is very versatile which is clearly important to any manager. We brought Tommie up to have a chat with him and see where we are all sitting and how he is feeling about things.
“Then we will see if we can progress on anything or not from there. But we are not at that stage yet as he has to put some training days together and spend some time with us and then see where we go.”
Aberdeen were today set to face Hibs and McInnes is under no illusions the bid for third in the Premiership hinges on an immediate improvement in their dismal home league form.
Following the return from the winter break Aberdeen have lost all four home Premiership games. McInnes will demand Aberdeen go on the attack.
He said: “With nine games to go draws don’t really get the job done any more.
“It is important my team grasp that and go all out to win games.
“The home form has to improve for us to get the job done that we want to do because it has not been good enough.
“However, if you look at the home games in isolation I believe we win with 11 men on the pitch against Ross County.
“We lost to Celtic trying to win the game and I don’t want to criticise my team for ever doing that.
“We will always try to win the game.
“In the others against St Johnstone and Motherwell (1-0 losses) we lost poor goals that allowed the opposition to defend and hang on to something.
“It is important we impose ourselves, get off to a strong start and maintain our discipline.”
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McInnes will make a late call on leading scorer Sam Cosgrove who is battling to be fit having suffered from a back spasm.
He said: “Sam made good improvement over the last 48 hours and we’ll see how he is.
“ Hopefully that same improvement continues but we will give him as long as possible before we make a decision.
“Obviously we are keen for Sam to be involved.”