Everton manager Roberto Martinez has played down reports that he is on the verge of completing a deal for Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady.
Martinez is keen to sign the Republic of Ireland international, who will be available on a free transfer in the summer when his contract in Russia runs out.
McGeady has been free to talk to clubs since Jan. 1, and the likeliest scenario would see him sign a pre-contract agreement ahead of a move to Goodison Park at the end of the season.
Reports have suggested that a deal has already been agreed, with one newspaper claiming that the 27-year-old was due on Merseyside on Thursday for a medical, and had a chance of being in the squad to face Norwich in the Premier League on Saturday.
For that to happen, Everton would almost certainly have to pay a transfer fee, as the player is still under contract. But while the club are continuing to work on a deal for McGeady, Martinez said talk of the winger being signed up was premature.
Asked at a news conference on Thursday if McGeady was set for an Everton medical imminently, Martinez acknowledged the club’s head of communications Alan Myers as he replied: “I don’t think so, unless Alan hasn’t told me.
“The situation is that Aiden’s still registered with another club. As you know, I will never be disrespectful by speaking about a player who is registered with another club. Aiden fits into that category.”
Martinez, who has also been linked with Dundee United left-back Andrew Robertson in recent days, is hopeful of adding to his squad shortly, though.
Discussing the general possibility of bringing players in, he said: “We’re close, but it’s not a matter of rushing things. We know exactly what we want and we’ll try to make it happen.
“It’s about making sure that the squad is not affected by bringing in the wrong personality to the club.”
Martinez, whose side are fifth in the Premier League, are set to be without centre-backs Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin for Saturday’s visit of Norwich.
Both men have missed Everton’s last two games with hamstring injuries, but the manager is hopeful they will be fit for the trip to West Brom on Jan. 20.
Left-back Leighton Baines is on course to return, having been absent for last Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup third-round win over Queens Park Rangers because of a back spasm, but midfielder Ross Barkley is a doubt for the Norwich game because of a toe injury.
Martinez said: “Ross had a knock on his toe, on his right foot, against Queens Park Rangers. It’s a bit swollen at the moment, but we are hoping he will be fine for the weekend.”