Motherwell have ended Louis Moult’s second spell at Fir Park but manager Steven Hammell remains hopeful of adding to his squad before Sunday’s visit of Hibernian.
Moult has been troubled by an ankle injury and only made one start after returning to the club on a season-long loan from Burton Albion.
Motherwell say the injury “may require further work” so they have exercised a clause to terminate the deal.
“Louis is a legend at Motherwell and we are gutted it didn’t quite work out the way we had all hoped,” Hammell said.
“Whilst it was clear whenever Louis played that he has the fantastic quality that we all remember, he was playing with a lot of pain which got progressively worse. He will need to try and get that rectified.”
Hammell is prioritising attacking reinforcements after signing Irish centre-back Shane Blaney in advance of the transfer window opening.
“It’s been frustrating so far, we have come close with a couple already but not quite able to get any over the line yet,” he said. “But hopefully that will change soon.
“We are trying to get a couple of players in as quickly as possible. Hopefully that means before Sunday.
“Obviously it still needs to be a player that we want and who wants to be here and will fit into what we are trying to do here, which is difficult in the January window.
“You are very rarely going to get a permanent (deal) in January especially with what we have got available to us.
“There is a lot of competition in the same market we are looking for and it’s about how we can get a couple over the line before the end of the window.”
Hammell is also hopeful of tying up Matt Penney on an extended deal with the left-back’s loan from Ipswich due to expire soon.
“We have been in dialogue with Matty and Ipswich and we are hoping we can come to a conclusion with that,” he said.
“He is a player who has come in and done really well for us. On the flip side of that I also think we have been really good for him also. It’s a good platform for him to showcase his talents and come and enjoy his football, which I think he has done.
“He is playing every week, he is progressing his career and getting good exposure.
“Hopefully we can do some business there, at least until the end of the season.”
Motherwell have the best away record in the cinch Premiership outside the top two but they sit 10th in the table after going without a home league victory since August 20.
The record means there could be added pressure ahead of Fir Park matches with the home support impatient for success. But Hammell is blocking out any potential criticism as he prepares for Sunday’s televised clash.
“I don’t listen to outside noise,” he said. “I have total belief in what we are doing and myself, and what we are getting out of the group we have just now.
“We need to remember it was a difficult situation we came into. I understand we want to be better off than we are just now in terms of points but, in terms of negativity, I have been solely focused on what I am doing and being confident in what I am doing.
“It’s a big game for us. We always want to do well here and the support the fans give us is excellent. We need that to continue, it makes such a big difference when we come here, but we also need to play our part in that and give them something to get behind.”