THE Tommy Wright saga is due to end today when the Darlington forward joins Aberdeen, a move that will give Quakers the green light to bring in a replacement before Saturday.
Wright has been on the verge of moving to the Scottish Premier League club for much of the summer, but the transfer has been delayed due to a knee injury which Wright has now recovered from.
Provided he passes a medical at Pittodrie, the 23-yearold, who has already agreed personal terms, will complete the transfer and may debut against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday.
But the delay in completing the six-figure move has at least allowed Darlington manager Dave Penney time to line up a replacement striker, and he has a target in mind.
With the season starting on Saturday at home to Exeter City, neither Adam Proudlock, Pawel Abbott or Gregg Blundell are fully fit.
None of the trio have injuries but all are lacking match fitness, while 16-yearold Curtis Main twisted an ankle in the warm-up before Tuesday’s defeat to Middlesbrough.
So Penney hopes to bring in a replacement for Wright before the weekend. However, should today’s move collapse, the manager would welcome Wright back to the Arena.
Penney said: “If and when Tommy goes that will free some money up. Ideally he would’ve gone before now but its dragged on and on.
“I’ve got a player in place to replace Tommy, hopefully, but until Tommy definitely goes there’s not a lot I can do.
“It’s a bit up in the air at the moment which is not ideal. I’ll know by Thursday evening whether or not he’s signed, but if he doesn’t he’ll be back down here with us and involved on Saturday.
“He’s trained for a couple of weeks but he hasn’t played because you know what he’s like, very committed, so that’s the reason we haven’t played him, but he could have played against St Mirren or Middlesbrough.
“If I can get a striker in on loan I might look to do that.”
Aside from a replacement for Wright, before the transfer deadline on August 31, Penney also wants to sign a central midfielder and a winger.
Two players who have already left Darlington this week are youngsters Simon Todd and Shaun Reay.
Midfielder Todd has gone to Blyth Spartans on a onemonth loan, while striker Reay is to spend the season on loan with Harrogate Town.