Relegation strugglers eye up loan swoop for Gibson
Darron Gibson has emerged as a January transfer window option for Aston Villa and Sunderland as they look to recruit for their battle with relegation.
The Ireland midfielder is out of favour at Everton, along with international colleague Aiden McGeady, and Roberto Martinez has indicated that he is prepared to cut his squad in the next month as he is conscious that Euro 2016 is on the horizon.
Gibson has made just five appearances for Everton this season, with a lay-off for James McCarthy failing to improve his situation at Goodison Park. Four of his outings have come off the bench, with his last appearance a 14-minute cameo against Norwich on December 12.
He was absent for the business end of Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign and his place in the squad for France is vulnerable given that Martin O'Neill will have to cut some midfielders as he trims his regular enlarged panel down to 23.
The emergence of Bournemouth's Harry Arter, who is lining out in the Premier League every week, has put pressure on the other players in that position.
Meanwhile, Darren O'Dea is set to join Scottish Premier League side Dundee until the end of the season. It's a low-mileage move for O'Dea compared to his recent globetrotting exploits. He recently parted company with Indian side Mumbai City, and also has stints in Canada with Toronto and Ukraine with Metalurh Donetsk on his CV.
Another former Celtic player, Richie Towell, could make his English debut for Brighton in their FA Cup tie with Hull on Saturday. Manager Chris Hughton has said that he is tempted to throw the winter recruit from Dundalk into the equation.
Hughton is preparing to rest a number of his main men after a fatiguing run in the Championship where Brighton have dropped points.
Towell, who scored 29 goals from midfield in his remarkable final season with Dundalk, has been training with Brighton since December but has only just received international clearance which puts him in contention for inclusion.
"He had a very good season in the League of Ireland but we're conscious of the levels of the League of Ireland," said Hughton. "We wouldn't have taken him if we didn't feel he could push and be part of a squad and make progress. We'll find out how quickly he can adjust. Sometimes you get a player that can step up.
"He's a confident lad and I don't think that will be a problem. It's one we're looking forward to finding out."
Closer to home, Derry City have agreed a deal to bring Gareth McGlynn back to the club.