Inverness Caledonian Thistle 'close to signing two new players'

Inverness Caledonian Thistle's Danny Devine and Owain Fon Williams
Danny Devine and Owain Fon Williams have been offered new contracts

Inverness Caledonian Thistle say they are close to signing two new players for next season despite manager John Hughes' fears about his playing budget.

And they are also hopeful that defender Danny Devine shortly will accept their offer of a contract extension.

The news came in a club statement as midfielder Liam Polworth signed a new three-year deal.

It follows Hughes' suggestion that he will miss some signing targets because of finances.

He hinted that their interest in Partick Thistle midfielders Stuart Bannigan, Steven Lawless and Abdul Osman was unlikely to bear fruit because Caley Thistle would receive less prize money this season after finishing outside the top six in the Scottish Premiership.

Caley Thistle lost full-back Graeme Shinnie to Aberdeen, midfielder Marley Watkins to Barnsley and striker Edward Ofere to Dundee United last summer.

And midfielders Danny Williams, who rejected a contract extension, and James Vincent will be moving to Premiership rivals Dundee this close season.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes
John Hughes thinks his budget will not be enough to secure some of his signing targets

But, in their website statement, Caley Thistle pointed out they now have eight players contracted for next season.

Devine and goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams have been offered new deals, while further approaches will be made "in the coming week" to players identified by the management team in the current squad.

"Steps have been taken to improve club recruitment after the unavoidable loss of Graeme Shinnie, Marley Watkins and Edward Ofere," said Caley Thistle, who stressed that the playing budget for the coming season would remain the same as for this campaign.

"Success puts our players on the radar of others and we must replace them within the budgetary constraints of the club.

"This happens in football and we are no different to many other clubs in that respect.

"Caley Thistle are to finalise pre-contract agreements with at least two incoming players in the next couple of weeks."

Hughes has complained about his lack of resources all season, at times saying he did not have enough fit players to fill his full quota of seven substitutes.

"After winning the Scottish Cup and qualifying for Europe, this season has seen the club's largest-ever playing budget," stressed the club.

Stuart Bannigan in action for Partick Thistle
Stuart Bannigan is one of three Partick Thistle players approached by Caley Thistle

"The cost of a 25-strong first team pool was far in excess of anything we have experienced at the club, but it was deemed necessary under the circumstances.

"Eleven of the first-team squad were out injured simultaneously earlier in the season and key players Gary Warren, Josh Meekings, Richie Foran and Dave Raven have only recently returned to full fitness.

"Consistency of player availability has long been a feature of our success in recent years, but unluckily we were blighted by numerous injuries to key players this time round.

"It is the responsibility of the management team to replace them and the board have provided the finances required this season to enable this."

Caley Thistle pointed out that they had "paid a healthy fee to Swindon Town" to extend striker Miles Storey's loan until the end of the season.

"We would like to keep Miles and we know he is keen to stay," the club stated.

"However, given his age, his parent club will have first call on him so this is out of our hands at the moment."

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