JACKIE McNAMARA admits Partick Thistle's pursuit of Steven Craig hinges on Ross County's willingness to let the striker move for free.
The 31-year-old has impressed since moving to Firhill on a short-term loan deal.
With his stay in Glasgow due to end next month, Thistle face an anxious wait to discover if he will be able to return to the club to aid their push for the Irn-Bru First Division title and their bid for Ramsdens Cup glory.
McNamara said: "We are still waiting to see what is happening with that, but we are hopeful we can get something sorted.
"It would be good to get him until the end of the season and give us a bit of competition.
"Like everything else, it will come down to finances. He would have to be signed [permanently] because of his age. He has to be released by Ross County."
While Craig's future remains in doubt, McNamara has been able to bolster his ranks with the signing of midfielder Ross Forbes.
He has turned in a number of eye-catching displays since moving to Firhill in September and was last week rewarded with a deal until the end of the season.
The ex-Motherwell youngster has played without a wage in recent weeks and McNamara is thrilled to have the 23-year-old tied down on a permanent basis.
He said: "I am delighted to have got Ross signed up until the end of the season. I think everyone at the club will be and the fans will be as well. I said when he first came in that he was a real talent. He has got fitter and got better.
"It is not just his deliveries from set-pieces, his all-round play is excellent. He is a clever player and I am delighted that we have him with us until the end of the season.
"You feel guilty when he is scoring goals and playing well and he is only taking home a win bonus. His attitude has been spot-on as there are not many players around who would do that. He is a terrific lad and it is great that we have him until the end of the season now."
McNamara saw his side maintain their place at the top of the First Division with a 2-0 victory over Livingston.
Championship rivals Dunfermline and Morton both kept up the pressure in the title race with weekend wins and the Jags boss knows every triumph is crucial.
McNamara said: "The approach is to go and win the match, pure and simple. We approach every game in the same manner – to go and get three points. We won't go away from home and try and get a draw.
"We want to go and win every match and try to entertain the supporters. Hopefully they enjoy coming to watch us."