Maybe Nicholson, Burt No'Brien

Last updated : 27 January 2005 By Stand Free Ed
Dons boss Jimmy Calderwood today confirmed Stand-Free's suspicions that the Barry Nicholson transfer has never been off. We reported on the 17th January in the article Crash and Byrne, and on the 25th January in Byrne Top Man, Burton Next that we believed that the Nicholson transfer is not dead, and so it has transpired.

Calderwood, who has also been linked with Dunfermline's ex-Dundee stopper Jamie Langfield, is desperate to ensure the services of a midfielder ahead of Monday's transfer deadline, and Nicholson is still his main target. This is doubly so, for it seems likely that the Dons will be frustrated in their attempts to buy Burton O'Brien from Livingston, as their manager is reported to be only prepared to sell O'Brien if a silly bid comes in, pricing out all but English Championship clubs.

Calderwood said at today's press conference: "Willie Miller made contact with Jim Leishman at Dunfermline again at the start of the week. We are waiting for Jim to get back to us and I would say at the moment it is going to be a no. But my understanding is that the clubs have moved a little closer in terms of valuation. I would love to get it done in the next few days but more realistically it could be the summer, although that all depends on Dunfermline. Things could still develop before the transfer window closes on Monday. We are still working on one or two other possibilities and there is enough time for us to make something happen."

Aberdeen finally completed the signing of Richie Byrne today, together with the Paatelainen brothers. 24-year-old Mikko is a striker and his younger brother Markus (22) is a midfielder that can play in either central or wide berths. Together with the extended contracts given to Darren Mackie, Ricky Foster and Andrew Considine this week, Aberdeen have secured the services of six players this week.

However, it is the midfield area that desperately needs strengthening with the loss of Stevie Tosh to Gretna, Scottie Severin to injury and eventually Markus Heikkinen to anywhere but Aberdeen. The Nicholson signing could just be the boost Aberdeen need to push on and challenge the ever-improving Edinburgh clubs for the UEFA Cup place this season.