Alex McLeish hopes to have two signings in place at Nottingham Forest before weekend
ALEX McLeish hopes to have at least two new signings in place before Nottingham Forest face Peterborough on Saturday.
But the Reds manager admits there is a lot of negotiating still to be done between now and the end of the transfer window.
McLeish is hoping to make permanent additions and loan signings before the end of the month – and could have two in place before the end of today, before they look to bounce back from their FA Cup defeat, when they take on the Posh.
"If we can get three or four new faces in and enhance the quality we have got, we will give it a really good go," said McLeish, who will be targeting a defender, in particular, as he attempts to fend off a defensive crisis.
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"We believe one or two are imminent on the horizon and we are trying with one or two that could cost money – they might take a little bit longer.
"Ideally, we would like to have everyone available for the Peterborough game, but that is just not going to happen.
"With a bit of luck, there might be one or two in before Saturday."
McLeish hinted the loan signings Forest make may be with a view to a permanent move.
"There is no point in adding to the squad just for the sake of it," he said. "We can only have a certain amount of loans in the squad at any one time.
"We are aware of that, in some instances, people want you to buy, if you want the player.
"It would be great if we could get players in, see them have a right good go at it with us and for us to be able to go back to their club and say 'we want this guy'.
"There are plenty of teams who want to offload their surplus. We all do.
"That is why this window tends to drag out because clubs finally realise they cannot sell certain players and are willing to let you have them on loan instead."
McLeish also recognises that bringing in players on loan can be a gamble.
After signing Obafemi Martins on loan from Newcastle in January 2011, the Nigerian scored the winning goal in the Carling Cup final win over Arsenal – but was sidelined shortly after, for the rest of the season, with a stress fracture.
"It is an awkward window, I have taken on loan players in the past; sometimes players who are not even fit," said McLeish.
"I have taken players who have not trained for a while. We signed Martins at Birmingham when we won the Carling Cup.
"He had barely played for 12 months and we knew there was a risk of fatigue, of a lack of sharpness.
"We won the Cup and then he did not play another game, after getting injured.
"That is an experience of the window and we have to be certain that any signings we make are capable of taking Nottingham Forest a step further on."
There have been rumours linking Dexter Blackstock with Leeds and Lee Camp with Reading – but McLeish says there have been no approaches for any Forest players.
Forest have told Matt Derbyshire he is free to move on and would consider allowing Jonathan Greening to leave as well.
"In terms of players going out, we have not had any interest. There has been loads of talk about Dexter, but we have had nothing, no approaches," he said.
"If you bring players in, you do try to offset it. But that does not always happen in this window.
"If you are trying to enhance the 18, you sometimes just have to bring them in, otherwise the status quo is just maintained."