Dundalk boss Filippo Giovagnoli says the club are really close to adding to their squad and tying down some of the existing players out of contract that they want to hold onto.

Norwegian striker Ole Erik Midtskogen last week became the Italian’s first signing since arriving at Oriel Park with Giovagnoli hinting that the club would continue to recruit from outside the League of Ireland as he builds a squad that he hopes will challenge for the title next season.

Asked how close the club were to adding new recruits, Giovagnoli said: “We are close with many of our objectives.

“It’s a long process on looking for the details on the new players to understand if they can fit our team and our style. We don’t want to make mistakes.

“We are looking for players with quality, with international experience and good profiles but we don’t want to rush. The club is in no rush. The club has a strategy moving forward and we are discussing with Jim (Magilton) about what to do. We’ll take our time and we’ll respect the process without having a rush.”

While no new re-signings have yet to be announced it is understood that Brian Gartland, David McMillan, Sean Murray, Daniel Kelly and Cameron Dummigan will be back at Oriel Park next season with hopes also high of retaining Michael Duffy. While not wishing to discuss individual players, Giovagnoli said he expected most of the remaining out of contract players that the club wished to keep to commit to Dundalk for 2021.

“I think we are really close with the majority of the players who we want to keep,” he said.

“You have to understand that even though you offer deals to the players, these are good players so maybe they have other offers and then they have to decide what to do.

“The club has made its decision on who it wants to keep but a player has to want to stay too and if a player doesn’t want to stay then that’s fine. If he is leaving, we’ll replace him with another player of the same quality or even better.

“At the end of the day I think the League of Ireland should start to look overseas and then it will be more rich. I think this is the way to do things now.

“I really believe if players come from overseas that they can do well in the League of Ireland. The dimensions of the pitch are the same all over the world so I don’t see a big problem with bringing players in here but we have just to find the right profiles.”

Asked about the future of Will Patching, who is contracted for next year but who hasn’t featured under Giovagnoli since the 0-0 draw with Finn Harps at the start of October, the head coach said: “I don’t know what he is discussing with the club and Jim. I’ll leave this situation to them.”