IAN McCALL is hopeful of concluding a deal for triallist Aidan Fitzpatrick in the coming days but the Partick Thistle manager insists he is not specifically targeting former Jags players in the transfer market.

Should the 21-year-old – a product of the Thistle Weir Youth Academy – sign a first-team contract at the Championship club, he will be the fourth former player to return to Firhill this summer after Aaron Muirhead, Steven Lawless and Jack McMillan completed moves of their own.

Fitzpatrick spent one season in the first team before moving to Norwich, Muirhead and Lawless were part of the second-tier title-winning team of 2012/13 and McMillan spent six months at Thistle on loan from Livingston in 2019.

McCall says that each signing has been assessed on their own individual merits and the Jags boss is particularly excited by the prospect of Lawless and Scott Tiffoney – who McCall says Thistle have received no offers for – linking up in the final third in the campaign to come.

“We take them one at a time,” he explained. “Aaron Muirhead came back because I think he’s a good player and he covers a few positions, he really likes the club. I think we needed to have a stronger squad and I just know the type of boy he is, I know him well.

“I had him at Ayr and I know him from Dumfries, I knew his brother, I played with his uncle. I know he won’t be happy to be a squad player and that’s what we need, he has shown up great in pre-season.

“I don’t know how many games young Aidan played for Thistle, I remember seeing him a couple of times, but he just caught my eye last season in a game that he hurt his hamstring in for Queen of the South and I thought he looked really, really good.

“I know the club sold him before but that’s ongoing. Jack, we got him from Livingston, he was on loan here when he was 18, 19 – I’m not sure that counts.

“Lawless obviously did really well here before and I signed a couple of players to play in that position last season. I’ll be kind – it didn’t quite work. I really like him, I just think he is very, very different to Tiffoney.

“Tiffoney is really electric and explosive, whereas I like to think that maybe Steven can cut inside and find Tiffoney with his runs and things.

“We’re very excited about it but the fact he played with Thistle before didn’t come into my thinking at all – except for the fact that he had a great time here, he has got really good memories, so that’s great.”

Thistle yesterday confirmed the arrival of goalkeeper David Mitchell, who signed a two-year deal as he brought a one-year stint at Hibernian to a close. He will challenge Jamie Sneddon, who did not play in Tuesday night’s 3-1 friendly win over Alloa as he is recovering from surgery on his ear, for a place in the starting XI.

Hartlepool United, manager by Paul Hartley, yesterday completed a move for 22-year-old midfielder Mouhamed ‘Sena’ Niang and McCall admitted to having mixed feelings about the player’s departure.

“Yes and no,” he said when asked if it was a tough decision. “Yes because I love him to death but no because he was really wanting to play regularly. We’ve obviously covered the club if he does really well.

“I was just reminded there that when we won the title, that night he was calling me ‘bro’ all night.

“He’s a great boy and his style of play might be suited to League Two in England because he is a really strong, physical player so I really, really hope he does really well and it is a really good move for him and a good opportunity for him.

“He came into the championship-winning team and for about 15, 20 games he was great. I just wish him all the luck in the world, he deserves it. He’s not had it easy.”