Which Premiership clubs will make moves in the January transfer window?

Greg Tansey
Aberdeen failed with a move for Inverness midfielder Greg Tansey in January 2016

The January transfer window is open and several Scottish Premiership sides will be looking to add new faces to their squads over the next month.

BBC Sport Scotland commentator Liam McLeod and former Scotland striker Steven Thompson assess where each top flight club will be aiming to strengthen.


Derek McInnes bolstered his squad in the summer and may be limited in what he can do in this window. However, only three of his summer signings have been first-team regulars: goalkeeper Joe Lewis, defender Anthony O'Connor and James Maddison, whose loan spell from Norwich has been extended until the end of the season.

However, a strong, ball-winning midfielder is likely to be at the top of his shopping list and it would be no surprise if Caley Thistle's Greg Tansey is once again targeted, 12 months on from an unsuccessful bid for the Scouser.

Niall McGinn
Niall McGinn's contract at Aberdeen expires at the end of the season

The Dons could also do with competition for Shay Logan at right-back, with captain Ryan Jack the current deputy for that position. Jack and Niall McGinn are two that McInnes will want to keep beyond this season.


How do you improve the team that is infinitely better than the rest? Well Brendan Rodgers will use the winter window to prepare for next summer's tilt at Champions League qualifying.

Despite some promising performances in the competition this season, it was clear that Rodgers will require more quality if they are to take the next step and reach the last 16 or, at least, finish third and drop into the Europa League after Christmas.

Players will surely leave Celtic this month, with the likes of Nadir Ciftci, Kris Commons - on loan at Hibernian - Eoghan O'Connell and Dedryck Boyata barely featuring.

Kris Commons
Kris Commons is on a short-term loan deal at Hibernian


It is well documented that Dundee's season has been hamstrung by Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings' summer departures and their replacements have yet to make an impression.

Paul Hartley has been proactive in trying to replace his former star pair but Marcus Haber, Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Rory Loy do not appear to be capable of replicating the 15 to 20 goals that Stewart and Hemmings netted.

Hartley has been forced to change the way he wants his team to play. They are now more direct and a target man may be at the forefront of the manager's thoughts this window.

Hamilton Academical

Martin Canning may be more concerned with the vultures circling New Douglas Park, with clubs ready to test their resolve to keep midfielder Ali Crawford.

Like Dundee, they don't have that player who is going to get into double figures with goals, Alex D'Acol and Rakish Bingham have both been used as the main striker, but Crawford is their top scorer with a lot of his strikes coming from set-pieces.

Eamonn Brophy is a talent but isn't yet chipping in with enough goals.

Ali Crawford
Ali Crawford has scored nine goals from midfield for Hamilton this season

These teams are working within a similar budget and are looking for a similar player - one that will score the goals to keep them away from the relegation places.


This will be an interesting window at Tynecastle, Ian Cathro's first as head coach.

The big question mark would have been over Callum Paterson, who was expected to leave for a seven-figure sum before being ruled out for up to 10 months with a knee injury.

The dip in form since the managerial change will have alarmed many at Tynecastle and they desperately need someone to do the job Adam Rooney does so well for Aberdeen. Conor Sammon and Tony Watt have flopped, with the latter having returned to parent club Charlton Athletic following a loan spell.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Richie Foran's men have conceded more than anyone else in the division - surprising given the normally reliable Josh Meekings and Gary Warren are at the heart of their defence.

Foran has to look for another defender to give those two some competition though they are surely still two of the best centre-backs in the league.

Whilst scoring hasn't been their biggest problem this season, another striker who can make the impact Miles Storey made last season when he arrived on loan would be beneficial to a relegation battle. Could they be tempted to ask Aberdeen if Storey is available again given he has started just twice for the Dons? They also need more creativity from the midfield.

Miles Storey
Miles Storey scored 13 goals during a loan spell at Inverness last season


Killie look adequately covered in the forward areas with Kris Boyd and Souleymane Coulibaly supported by Nathan Tyson and Flo Bojaj, albeit Boyd hasn't been at his prolific best this season and Tyson and Bojaj are yet to prove themselves at Rugby Park. Centrally they are also quite strong.

Defensively, however, they need tighten up if they are to avoid the spectre of relegation and Lee Clark will likely line up a new centre-half having already tried that in the summer with Scott Boyd and Will Boyle brought in. Miles Addison's injury problems haven't helped.

Killie could also be doing with a creative midfielder behind the strikers in the 'number 10' role. However, tightening up his leaky defence is Clark's priority.


Mark McGhee's team is absolutely fine the further up the pitch you go, they have coped with the loss of Marvin Johnson by using youngsters Chris Cadden and Ross MacLean on the wings recently and clubs like Hearts, Aberdeen or Rangers wouldn't say no to Louis Moult and Scott McDonald.

If there is a weakness, it could be the pace - or lack of - in their defence. Steven Hammell and Stephen McManus are terrific players but that side of the Well defence could do with an injection of pace.

Partick Thistle

Adam Barton
Adam Barton has impressed since joining Partick Thistle from Portsmouth

There cannot be a team in the league who has missed more opportunities this season than Partick Thistle, with Ade Azeez the most culpable. Kris Doolan is a regular goal-scorer, but they need to stop being profligate if they are to avoid the drop.

They should have beaten both Rangers and Hearts recently and another striker will be considered by Alan Archibald.

At the back they look decent and Adam Barton has been a great addition, complimenting Liam Lindsay well at the heart of their defence. However, the knee problem suffered by midfielder Stuart Bannigan has been an issue in central midfield. His return would be like a new a signing.


It sounds ridiculous to say that new defenders are required by Mark Warburton given they've only conceded six goals at home and of the 15 they've let in on the road, five of those were scored by a rampant Celtic.

However, the centre-back pairing of Rob Kiernan and Danny Wilson has seldom convinced and the signing of Phillipe Senderos has not worked. Clint Hill has been decent, but is he the long-term answer? No.

They could also be doing with an out-and-out winger. Barrie McKay has flirted with good form this season but the rest are either central players or want to be a striker.

Philippe Senderos
Philippe Senderos has made just one league appearance since being sent off on his Rangers debut in a 5-1 defeat to Celtic

Ross County

For the last two or three seasons, the Staggies have used this window to strengthen their squad. This time around it could be quieter, however, as they are picking up good results regularly.

Two months ago that may have been a different story, but Jim McIntyre's squad looks strong and in Liam Boyce they have the league's top scorer, so they will hope there are no bids for the Northern Irishman. If anything, a centre midfielder may be on his mind as they are fine in the wide areas.

It could be that Roy Macgregor's purse-strings do not require as much loosening this window.

St Johnstone

Tommy Wright tends to only sign players who can make an immediate impression on the first-team and it could be a quiet window for the Perth club.

Joe Gormley's lack of impact before quitting the professional game means there is scope for Saints to bring in another forward and a proven goal-scorer is probably the one area they could be doing with addressing.

However, their squad is almost certainly strong enough to maintain their now regular berth in the Premiership with their settled back four proving, generally, to be stubborn opposition.

Holding onto star man Danny Swanson will also be key.

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