STANLEY boss John Coleman was hoping that Michael Symes had put pen to paper as he boosts his strike options for the new season.
The Reds only have striker Paul Mullin on their books - and he is on the transfer list - but Coleman was confident 25-year-old Symes would sign a one-year deal with Stanley this week.
Ex-Shrewsbury man Symes was with the Reds on loan from March last season, scoring one goal in seven appearances.
"Michael did well for us and I think he is keen to play a full season," said Coleman.
"For whatever reason, his face didn’t fit at Shrewsbury and he feels he has a point to prove and we hope he will sign."
Coleman feels his squad is taking shape with Chris Turner, Phil Edwards and Jimmy Ryan all signing two-year-deals last week.
Ex-Shrewsbury man Ryan was the find of last season with ten goals from midfield and Coleman is delighted to have snapped him up.
"Jimmy has the world at his feet. If he does well this year then he could get a move to the Championship as he is good enough.
"We don’t want to lose him but if he plays well he could help us on and off the field, as any move could end our financial problems.
"We have got good service out of Jimmy so far and we want longer with him like we got good service out of Ian Craney and Gary Roberts, who moved onto bigger things.
"If Jimmy does get a move, we will pat him on the back and say go and do your best as I think he can go far.
"And the same can be said for Phil Edwards and Chris Turner. I obviously rate them both and they both have a great chance here to improve their game and make a name for themselves and they shouldn’t rest on their laurels."
So far, Coleman has added defender Dean Winnard and midfielder Luke Joyce to his side.
And he has now pinpointed what he wants to take his squad of 15 up to around 20.
"I want two centre halves, a goalkeeper and a couple of strikers and then I think we will be okay and will look good going into the season.
"At the back so far we have Phil Edwards, Leam Richardson, Peter Murphy and we aim to do a deal with Chris King in the next few weeks and Peter Cavanagh will hopefully be able to sign too. And we haven’t ruled out getting Kieran Charnock back from Peterborough. We are still having talks with them."
Left back King is close to agreeing a deal after more negotiations on the pay-as-you-play contract he was offered. The ex-TNS man missed six months of last season with a thigh injury.
Captain Cavanagh is waiting for the outcome of the Football Association’s hearing into allegedly betting on his team to lose in the Stanley against Bury match in 2008. Cavanagh has pleaded not guilty and the case was due to be heard on July 20 but has been put back to August 7 - the day before Stanley’s League Two season kicks off at Rotherham.
Reds’ long serving player Robbie Williams, also charged, has not returned to training with Stanley.
Defender Charnock, with a year left on his Posh contract, was a star for Stanley on loan last season but is currently back training with the Championship new boys.
Meanwhile, Coleman is continuing his keeper search with only Ian Dunbavin currently on the Reds’ books. Leeds United goalie Alan Martin, a highly-rated Scot, is still in the frame but the Stanley boss is also looking elsewhere.
"I don’t think Leeds will let Alan go until they sign another ‘keeper so it’s wait and see on that at the moment.
"I have one or two irons in the fire but I don’t want to jump into anything and I also have to stick to a budget."
Coleman has also revealed ex-Blackburn Rover and former Stanley player Mark Patterson might help out on matchdays now Argentinian coach Pablo Asensio, who was working unpaid with the Reds since November, has left the club.
"Mark has been scouting for Sheffield United and has volunteered his services so that would be good for me, Jimmy (Bell) and the club if he can help out," added Coleman.