VETERAN defender Paul Warhurst is expected to give Wrexham a decision on whether to join the Dragons by the end of the week.
The 36-year-old former Bolton and Blackburn player has been training with Wrexham and has been in talks over a permanent move.
And the ex-England man's versatility could well be needed by the weekend with question marks over two Wrexham defenders ahead of Saturday's League Two home game against Carlisle.
Warhurst, a free agent since being released by Forest Green Rovers, had been expected to give the Dragons a decision by yesterday.
Manager Denis Smith last night said talks with Warhurst were ongoing, and that any decision would have to be made by the weekend.
Smith said: "We are still talking with the player. We might well hear on Tuesday, but I think we can say if the decision isn't made by Thursday, then the deal won't be done at all.
"We spoke on Friday and again on Monday, but with us being in administration, things are not as clear as I would like them to be."
Warhurst would bring plenty of versatility to the Wrexham squad, having played in almost every outfield position during his career.
Smith said: "It is always an advantage having players like him who can play in all sorts of different positions. For me, I take on players as footballers first - and then we can talk about where they play."
If Warhurst signs in time for the match against newly-promoted Carlisle at the Racecourse, he can expect to make an immediate debut.
Defender Dave Bayliss, a rock during the start of Wrexham's season, left the field at Northampton hobbling with a hip injury.
And centre-half Dennis Lawrence will return to the UK late on Friday following a round-the-world trip playing for Trinidad.
Smith said: "Dave is having treatment and it will probably be Thursday before we have a better idea how he'll be. But I've got Andy Holt, Danny Williams and Simon Spender, who can all play at the back.
"The one I'm more worried about is Dennis Lawrence, who has to get back from the USA. I'm pretty sure he'll be back with us in time."
Smith also added his congratulations to Dragons midfielder Mark Jones, who was called up to the senior Wales squad on Sunday by boss John Toshack.
Smith said: "I am delighted for the lad - he's earned it. He has come on enormously in the last six months. He has grown physically and mentally, and I have been very impressed with him."