WREXHAM manager Denis Smith is optimistic about signing Trinidadian winger Josh Johnson today and has also stepped up his search for an on-loan striker.
The 24-year-old was one of the top scorers for ex-Dragon Hector Sam's old club San Juan Jabloteh last season and has been capped at under-21 and under-23 level.
Yesterday Smith said: "Josh's agent is still on holiday until this evening, but I'm seeing him in the morning to see if we can come to an agreement.
"We are pretty close to that stage and I would not have taken Josh to Northern Ireland if I didn't think I was going to keep him."
With regard to ashort-term replacement for injured duo Lee McEvilly and Juan Ugarte, the Racecourse boss was more circumspect despite admitting he had contacted a number of clubs to check the availability of players.
"Because the Premier League doesn't start until a fortnight after us most clubs are still looking at their players, which makes it difficult, but I've made an inquiry about someone at a Championship club," said the Dragons boss.
"The trouble is, I know other clubs are also keen to take the lad and if they are playing at a higher level than us, we might not be attractive enough.
"I can easily get someone in from the hundreds of players still out of work, but they may be no better than the players we already have.
"Once the season is fully under way, the situation could change quickly so it could be I'll make do with what I've got if it means waiting a month to bring in the right person. One thing is certain, I won't be bringing in anyone just for the sake of it."
Wrexham's final pre-season match at Port Vale tomorrow before the League Twocampaign begins in earnest on Saturday week could see Smith fielding some of the younger players after it emerged that illness and injuries are beginning to take their toll.
Apart from McEvilly and broken toe victim Lee Roche, Matt Cowell has little chance of recovering from the dead leg injuryhe picked up during Tuesday's match with Cliftonville, while Darren Ferguson and Neil Roberts, who roomed together in Northern Ireland, were absent yesterday because of a glandular illness.
Smith said: "I'm hoping that Shaun Pejic and Mark Jones will be okay to rejoin the squad, while Ryan Valentine has a slightly tight groin but should also be involved.
"But Neil and Darren are both verydoubtful after picking up some sort of bug. Neil looked really rough today when he came in to see the doctor and the illness is one of the reasons he had to come off at half time on Tuesday evening."