Mansfield Town are hopeful of signing their main midfield target and could also add an extra young striker to the squad before next week’s transfer deadline.
Boss Steve Evans finally secured the goalscorer he wanted with the arrival of Kane Hemmings on loan from Oxford United this week.
But he is tailing an attacking midfield player, who he failed to sign last season, and may also bring in a promising young forward from one of his previous clubs who has become available.
“We are getting closer. It’s at a finely balanced stage,” said Evans on his pursuit of the midfielder.
“I have had several names put to me of central midfield players. But this kid for me has stood out like a lighthouse in a dark ocean.
“I drove a long way on Tuesday to watch the kid play and I thought he was excellent.
“When you go to have a final look, you want a player to be good – and he was good.
“The discussions continue and we’ll see where it lands.
“If we get him in, as far as the first team squad, we’re almost done and dusted.
“There is another young lad, a striker, on the horizon at one of my former clubs who may be coming out of there.
“If that can happen, that’s great. But the priority is the lad I travelled to see.”
Evans continued: “I have had some communication with the midfield player via text messages and two or three discussions with his representatives over the last week or two plus one with his manager.
“We will probably know in the next 24 hours how close we will really get. I am going to once more have to reply on our chief executive stepping in and seeing if she and the chairman want to do it.
“We have said for a number of weeks we wanted a central midfield player and a striker. We’ve got the striker in, now let’s see if we can get the other one in.
“He is an attacking midfield player. I want someone to break forward and score us a goal.”
Evans hit a brick wall in trying to sign the midfield player last season and is hoping for better luck this time around.
“This is someone I identified last season if I am being honest,” he said.
“I made a move for him and I got a custard pie – I ate it.
“I got no chink of light from his manager whatsover.
“But I have just tracked it and tracked it and kept looking at our deficiencies and what we need.
“The real interest from us has been there two or three weeks and we should know in the next 24 hours if we are going to be doing something.
“In the cup game on Tuesday I thought for 75 minutes the kid was as good as anything on the pitch. That gives me a a bit of glee as I travelled a lot of miles to watch him and you want them to do well.
“But often when you drive those miles and you want them to do well they don’t and you go away thinking I can’t do that. But I drove away from that stadium thinking that’s one for us if we can make it happen.
“There is a lot to be done yet. We’ve not even spoken yet about any terms.”
On the young striker, Evans said: “He is an additional player. He’s not a back-up plan and if he signs he wouldn’t be playing on Saturday.
“He is just a young lad we liked and we heard this week he could be available to us.
“He would be one of the younger players coming into the group.
“He’d come into the first team but the priority is the central midfield player and I have no back up to the central midfield player.”