Express & Star

Jon Whitney preparing for hectic Walsall transfer window

Walsall’s Jon Whitney is bracing himself for a busy transfer window with the boss believing deals may not be completed until the last minute.

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The Saddlers are set for a busy January with loanees Tyler Roberts, Daniel Agyei, Zeli Ismail and Shaun Donnellan all returning to their parent clubs next month.

While Roberts will remain on loan from Albion until January 26, Agyei, Ismail and Donnellan all see their temporary switches end after the New Year’s Day clash at Plymouth.

And Whitney knows there is work to be done if he is going to keep those players or replace them with other targets.

“I have been in talks with players for the last six weeks – I’m still in talks and I’m making lots of phone calls,” the boss said. “But unfortunately things aren’t just up to me. It’s not always my decision. There are lots of variables and lots of external influences.

“I think at this club and at many others, deals will be done late in the day. Teams often want to get one in before they let another player go out.

“It’s the old merry-go-round. It will start very soon and we have to make sure we are in the mix.

“We have got a few things in the pipeline but they are just words at the moment and we’re going to see what happens in the coming weeks.

“But I’m excited about the changes. I’m sure there will be a few in the window.”

Meanwhile, Whitney revealed he is hoping to have midfielder Florent Cuvelier available for Walsall’s game against Oxford on January 13.

The Belgian has endured an injury blighted few years and there were fears he had picked up another serious knock in the defeat at Northampton earlier this month after he was carried off with a knee problem.

But Whitney believes he is only a few weeks away from full fitness.

“Flo is doing really well,” he said.

“He is doing a lot of gym work. He is still about two weeks away but I think he’ll have a chance for Oxford.

“He’ll be chomping for that. We’ve got a 13 day break after Plymouth so hopefully in that time we can get him ready.”