Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson is expecting an even tougher Scottish Premiership next season, with Edinburgh giants Hibs joining the party.
“Of course it will be tougher,” Robinson said.
“Hibs will come up, they’ll spend big.
“Rangers will get better, they’ll progress, Aberdeen will get better and Celtic will just keep doing what they do and keep improving and probably spend again.
“It will be a tough division. St Johnstone are always up there, Ross County have got a good amount of money that they’re going to throw at it as well.
“I was with Jim McIntyre (Ross County manager) for the three-day holiday that I had so we were teasing each other about which players we were going for!
“I think we will improve our squad with the boys we’ve brought in.
“I think we’ll be stronger and we have to be because we were down there for a reason.”
Offsetting the loss of 13 players this summer, Robinson has already added ex-Coventry midfielder Gael Birigimana, former Caley Thistle forward Alex Fisher, ex-Reading midfielder Craig Tanner and former Hartlepool United goalkeeper Trevor Carson to his squad.
And Australian midfielder Andy Rose – who played for Coventry City last season – signed an initial one-year contract at Motherwell on Tuesday afternoon.
Goalkeeper Russell Griffiths – on loan at Fir Park for the second half of last season – is also expected to put pen to paper on a permanent deal in the coming days.
Robinson’s wheeling and dealing in the transfer market will continue this summer, although he admits he’ll have to move more current first team players on in addition to bringing in new ones.
“I’d love to get my squad completed by the time we come back for the Betfred Cup ties next month,” the Fir Park gaffer added.
“I probably won’t have all my business done, no.
“I still have to move people in and out of the football club, which isn’t quite as easy as people think.
“When people are sitting on contracts and half decent money they actually don’t want to leave.
“That is their right, they were given that. So we have to be clever with it.
“We’ve inherited 14 players. We have to make the best of that.
“We have to make them better than they were last season and that’s the task you have as manager.
“We’ve got some very good signings in that I believe will improve the football club, freshen the football club and take it forward.”
Although speculation continues to surround the futures of top scorer Louis Moult and centre back Ben Heneghan, Robinson hopes both players will remain at Fir Park for the new season.
He added: “Ben – similarly to Louis – has done brilliantly for us.
“If the right offer comes in for every player – that’s not just Ben Heneghan or Louis Moult – then as a football club financially we have to look at that.
“But I don’t want that.”