Aberdeen have their fingers crossed that they can complete the signing of Paul Marshall before their New Year fixture against Dundee United.
The 20-year-old midfielder has arrived back at Pittodrie after a successful trial spell but must wait until the Football Association ratify his move from Manchester City before making his debut on 2nd January.
And Dons manager Mark McGhee confirmed he is desperate to get the paperwork processed in rapid time so the England U20 international can feature in the crunch clash against United.
"Once the 1st January comes, we're hoping to have the paperwork on their desk," Dons manager Mark McGhee said of the Marshall, who spent loan spells at Blackpool and Port Vale earlier in the year.
"Hopefully they can process it quickly enough on the day to allow him to be available against Dundee United but that will be in their hands.
"He's here now, he has driven up from Manchester. It took him three weeks but he's here."
Meanwhile, McGhee is 'still interested' in signing Plymouth pair Jim Patterson and Steven MacLean on pre-contract deals, although Hearts have stolen a march on signing striker MacLean on loan in January after the 27-year-old trained with the Edinburgh outfit on Monday.