IAN McCALL expects there to be a new addition to his Partick Thistle side in time for Wednesday night’s Premier Sports Cup trip to Rugby Park as the Jags manager looks to add the finishing touches to his squad for the upcoming season.

Harry Milne, Anton Dowds, Aaron Muirhead, Jack McMillan, Steven Lawless and David Mitchell have all joined on permanent deals this summer while young central midfielder Ben Stanway has been promoted to the first-team squad.

Thistle have been heavily linked with a loan move for 20-year-old Rangers midfielder Cole McKinnon, who impressed for the Ibrox club’s colts team in the Lowland League last term, and McCall hinted that a deal is close to being completed without naming any names.

“A midfielder will be in the squad for Wednesday,” said McCall, speaking at a special event at Greaves Sports attended by Junior Jags, Thistle’s membership club for young supporters.

“I won't say who it is yet but a lot of people probably already know it. I met a player at Firhill [on Thursday] as I think we need another three or four, or three if one can play two positions.

“We are close to one or two. We won't be bringing in another central midfielder as I have promoted Ben Stanway into the first team group. He won't go on loan. He has done really well in the pre-season.”

When asked what areas of the squad he was looking to strengthen, McCall elaborated.

He continued: “A couple of wide players, some cover in defence and a striker. That would be us. We have one more loan but the rest may be permanents.”

One player who will remain a Thistle player for the foreseeable is Brian Graham, who on Thursday signed a contract extension that will keep the centre-forward at Firhill until the summer of 2024.

The 34-year-old finished the previous season as the Jags’ top scorer with 18 goals in all competitions but a bout of illness off the park meant that the striker’s goals dried up towards the end of the campaign.

McCall was pleased to see Graham commit his future to the Championship club ahead of this afternoon’s season curtain-raiser away to Stenhousemuir in the League Cup – both for his contribution on the pitch and his presence off of it.

Graham also coaches the women’s side, where he has been nominated for manager of the year in both of his years in charge, and although there were other clubs interested in the striker, the offers weren’t entertained by his manager.

“At Brian's age, it's not usual to extend a contract, but Brian is very important for us,” McCall explained. “He didn't finish the season well like a lot of players but he did overall very well. He's very much part of the club and takes the women's team.

“We turned down two bids, one from the league below and one from our league. I think he always wanted to stay. He will want to be first-choice striker. He has that attitude.

“He's a big moaner! He and Stuart Bannigan help set standards. We still need another striker and whoever plays the best will start. I think I can say now he had Covid and it had a bad effect on him. He is determined to kick on.”

Partick Thistle season tickets are once again free for under-16s, visit www.ptfc.co.uk for more info.