McGhee: we won’t be signing Faissal

Mark McGhee will be "forensic" with his budget for signing new players (Pic by Alan Watson)
Mark McGhee will be "forensic" with his budget for signing new players (Pic by Alan Watson)

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee has denied the club will be moving for Dunfermline forward Faissal el-Bakhtaoui this summer.

But he is optimistic that influential Aussie striker Scott McDonald will remain at Fir Park.

McGhee, who had been strongly linked with prolific Moroccan ace el-Bakhtaoui (23), who scored 30 goals last season, said: “Our move for Faissal is not going anywhere.

“He is one of several players we’ve been looking at. The boy is a good player who has done remarkably well .

“But we don’t need him. Scott McDonald is likely to come back and we have Moulty (Louis Moult).

“Signing Bakhtaoui would only have been on the basis that we lost one of them.”

’Well have offered new terms to fellow out of contract veterans Keith Lasley, Stevie Hammell, James McFadden and Stephen McManus, plus goalkeeper Craig Samson and defender Ben Hall.

“We are just waiting to hear back from them,” McGhee said. “We are not giving them deadlines but eventually we will have to toughen up.

“May 31 is the key cut off date when contracts expire.”

Despite finishing fifth in last season’s Scottish Premiership after being down in 11th place in February, McGhee is not ecstatic with this achievement.

“I have two overriding feelings,” added the man who has completely turned around ’Well’s fortunes since replacing Ian Baraclough last autumn.

“One that we never got fourth and two that we lost seven nil at Celtic Park on the last day of the season.

“I can’t take any solace from the fact we finished fifth.

“When I came in I would have taken fifth but we had got into a good enough position to finish fourth and we failed.

“I will get over it but I don’t have any positive emotions about finishing fifth.

“I don’t think the heavy defeat at Celtic Park will affect us next season. It wasn’t a normal performance in any shape or form.

“Other results were remarkably similar. The same day Spurs lost five at Newcastle. It can happen.

“Our best performance of the season had come when we won 2-1 at Parkhead earlier in the campaign.

“I will remind the players of that going into next season.”