Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has confirmed there will be no signings in the January window.
McInnes will be unable to strengthen this squad month as the club are reacting to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and absence of fans from Pittodrie.
The Dons gaffer had hoped to bring in signings and had targeted a creative spark in the window.
However, those plans have now been scrapped as the club ready to deal with the ongoing financial hit of the pandemic.
It is the second bombshell delivered by McInnes in 24 hours after the boss confirmed Scott Wright looks set to exit the club after contract talks stalled.
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) January 7, 2021
McInnes said Bristol City’s Marley Watkins, previously on loan, will not return to Aberdeen this season.
And the manager also confirmed the Reds lost out to St Mirren in the race to land Kilmarnock striker Eamonn Brophy.
He said: “Nobody will be signing in January.
“We were hopeful that we could have added and like every manager I would have liked to have added one or two.
“We are not in a position to do that, so there will be no signings coming in January.
“We, as a club, are trying to be responsible and, in the current situation with the Covid issues, we are just trying to be smart in what might lie ahead for us.
“If somebody moved on it may change things. We don’t plan on selling anyone in January, so we go as we are.”
Although McInnes had hoped to strengthen in the window, he has confidence the current squad can deliver. Aberdeen sit third in the Premiership table, four points behind Celtic, who have a game in hand.
McInnes said: “We have good players here and I believe in the potential of this squad.
“If we get a fair wind in getting more players available and we can get some players back from injury, then I am confident we can fulfil what we want to achieve in the second half of the campaign.
“At the halfway stage, we sit third in the league and we have the further potential to improve in the second half of the season.”
Striker Watkins, 30, will not return to Pittodrie despite a successful loan spell in the first half of the campaign that was halted by a hamstring injury.
Watkins is currently recuperating at parent club Bristol City and will not be fit until next month. The Welsh cap is out of contract at the end of the season and would be free to reach a pre-contract agreement with any club.
McInnes said: “Marley’s injury will keep him out until the end of February, beginning of March. He won’t be back in January.”
Aberdeen recently lost out to St Mirren in the battle to secure Kilmarnock’s Scotland international Brophy on a pre-contract agreement for next season. Brophy tonight joined the Buddies on loan for the rest of the season before he makes the move permanently in the summer.
McInnes said: “He has chosen St Mirren and we have to accept that. He’s a player that I have liked for a while, so I’m disappointed that we are not in a position to bring him here.”
McInnes had also previously refused to rule out a return to Pittodrie for winger Gary Mackay-Steven, who was a free agent after leaving MLS side New York City.
However, Hearts have won the battle to land Mackay-Steven, who was tonight confirmed as having signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Tynecastle.
Confirmation the Reds will not make signings came rapidly on the back of news that Wright looks set to move on.
Youth academy graduate Wright, 23, is out of contract at the end of the season and has been free to talk to any interested clubs since the transfer window opened. He could leave for nothing in the summer.
Although McInnes accepts Wright looks set to leave, he will still leave the door open for a U-turn from the attacker.
He said: “We’ve invested a lot in him and we’re disappointed that we’re not going to be able to continue that. But it’s a player’s right to make these decisions.
“Hopefully the door isn’t closed with Scott, but the indications are that he’s keen to explore other options.”