Accrington Stanley were hoping to bring Bobby Grant back into the Reds’ fold ahead of two crucial home games.
Stanley face struggling Northampton tomorrow followed by derby day when Morecambe come to the Crown Ground on Tuesday.
Grant, 21, scored 18 goals in the 2009-10 season for Stanley before he moved for a £250,000 fee to Scunthorpe.
However, despite nine goals this season for the struggling League One outfit, Alan Knill looks set to allow him out on loan.
And the Reds were also hoping to tie up a loan deal for centre-half Rob Kiernan from Wigan.
“There have been a good few clubs chasing Bobby – Preston, Rochdale and Crawley to name a few – but he has shown a lot of interest in returning here and that’s a huge compliment to us,” said assistant manager Leam Richardson.
“He knows the club, the players and me and Paul (Cook) and he has said he wants to come back although there were still some bits to tie up before the weekend.
“He could have a big role at our club in the final 11 games as we still all believe we can reach the play-offs here.
“I think he is Scunthorpe’s joint top scorer with nine goals, he always has confidence so it’s fantastic if he does sign for us.
“And both Paul and I have watched Rob (Kiernan). Wigan rate him highly and they want him to get experience and, due to the small nature of our squad, he should get that here.”
Kiernan is an Irish Under 21 international who has been on loan at Yeovil, Wycombe and Bradford.
He comes in to replace Michael Liddle who was sent off in the 2-2 draw at Southend on Saturday – and will miss three games which will take him over his loan spell from Sunderland.
“We are gutted for Michael as he has been great since he has been here,” said Richardson.
“Anyone who saw the red card knows it was a shame for him and when it was deemed foul play – and so carried a three-game ban – we were left with little choice.
“He would sit out three important games for us and financially and bodywise we couldn’t really do that – and Sunderland understood that, they were helpful.
“We will keep tabs on him as he has impressed here – he is young energetic, tenacious and has been fantastic for us.”
Loanee Michael Smith has also returned to Charlton after picking up a knee injury which has kept him sidelined.
The striker, who scored a hat-trick against Gillingham, was with the Reds until the end of the season but has gone back to The Valley to have treatment.
And goalkeeper Sean Murdoch has had his contract terminated by mutual consent.
The 25-year-old came from Scotland to sign for the Reds at the start of the season, made 14 appearances but dropped to the bench before being left out when Cook brought in loan keeper Lee Nicholls.
“This wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction for Sean,” continued the assistant. “He is a good keeper with a good attitude and he wants to be playing. I think he found it harder living away from home when he wasn’t playing and this works for both parties as Sean can return to Scotland and put himself in the frame to get a club for next season.
“Sean is a good keeper and it was all amicable.”
Murdoch, who hopes to reignite his career north of the border, said: “I’d like to thank the fans who took me in from the very first game and are one of the best supports I’ve ever played in front of. It’s sad the way things have worked out but that’s football and I would like to wish Accrington Stanley all the best for the future.”
Meanwhile the Reds are in negotiations to extend Hull winger Jamie Devitt’s loan deal at the Crown Ground.
Stanley are now entering a crucial stage of the campaign as they look to emulate last season’s play-off spot.
They are currently in 13th place – nine points off the top seven. They haven’t won in seven games but are unbeaten in three after a hat-trick of last-gasp goals.
Now they aim to turn on the style as they have the two home games before a trip to bottom club Dagenham a week tomorrow.
“These are three massive games,” said Richardson. “If we can get seven points in these three games then we will go into the game at Oxford (a week on Tuesday) hoping to overtake them.
“We haven’t given up our hopes of the play-offs and we feel we are playing well and are hitting a run of form.
“The early games in March were always going to be tough whoever was in charge and we feel we should have got more out of them – we have deserved wins, especially on Saturday at Southend.
“But we are playing well, there is a good attitude around the club and the lads have plenty of confidence.
“There is no despondency and we want to kick on now that things have started to settle down with all the changes.”
Northampton are one of the form teams in the league, having won four of their last six games to move out of the bottom two.
“Northampton are in a false position in terms of the players and budget and they probably think the table should be turned upside down,” added Richardson. “They are the in-form team but we don’t really talk about other teams – it’s all about us and we believe we can win.
“Then it’s Morecambe on Tuesday and whenever we play Morecambe, it’s a big game. Over the years we have had a good record against them but it will count for nothing on Tuesday. We will be all out for three points.”