This week's North of the Border picks out some of the biggest Scottish transfer stories of the January window so far from a somewhat limited selection.
FOR SALE: RANGERS TITLE HOPES?
In this, the final week of the January window, only a frenzy of last-minute deal-making could apply the financial defibrillators to the flat-lining economy of the transfer market here in Scotland.
The biggest stories in the SPL are likely to be sales, not purchases, and to uncover the best mid-season acquisitions, one needs to look a little harder.
Firstly, those players who remain in the shop window as the clock ticks down - the most notable of which is Nikica Jelavic, the Rangers ace who has been the subject of negotiations between the Glasgow club and West Ham but who appears to be holding out for Liverpool, or at least somewhere in between.
This deal would be pivotal in terms of the SPL title race. With no Steven Naismith, out for the rest of the season, Rangers without Jelavic would appear a punchless outfit unless they uncover an adequate replacement in the days - perhaps hours - available to them. That is not a simple task. Jelavic has been as intelligent a striker seen in Scotland since Henrik Larsson left Celtic. The extent of Rangers' need to sell may become clear shortly, as the resolution of their long-running tax case draws near.
At Celtic, Jamie Forrest is the hot property, but Tottenham Hotspur appear content to delay any coup until the summer at the earliest and there is much to persuade the 20-year-old midfielder to continue his development in Scotland.
The best January signing in the SPL - so far, at least - is the loan signing by Dunfermline Athletic of Iain Turner, the Scottish goalkeeper from Preston North End.
Dunfermline have spent most of the season on or near the bottom of the league table and, last month, lost their excellent goalkeeper, Paul Gallacher, for the season to a shoulder injury. The No. 1 spot in their team is a busy position and they needed someone fast.
Turner left Scotland as a teenager after getting a lot of heat in his breakthrough season with part-time Stirling Albion, his hometown club. He was signed by Everton, but has spent most of the last decade on loan or as back-up at a host of clubs in England.
Now 27, he has never been a first-choice goalkeeper for an entire season and given that responsibility, he has already shown the shot-stopping quality that suggests he may have a say in whether or not his new club beat the odds and beat the drop.
WHAT PRICE FOR PROMOTION?
One league down, the big draw is Farid El Alagui - with Falkirk's Moroccan striker guaranteed to be the subject of several bids on deadline day. He has 21 goals in his first season in Scotland and his contract expires in the summer.
However, Falkirk will have to set their valuation against the fact that his departure would be a huge blow to their chances of promotion this season. Falkirk and their No. 9 play Celtic on Sunday in the semi-finals of the League Cup, a match live on terrestrial television in Scotland. A big performance at Hampden Park, and the rush for El Alagui could prove overwhelming for his employers.
In the Second Division, Arbroath - winners of last season's Third Division - recently completed the signing of Collin Samuel, a Trinidad and Tobago international forward with extensive game time, if no great strike rate, in the SPL.
Now 30 and after his release from Luton Town in the Conference, Samuel has dropped several rungs in joining Arbroath until the end of the season. He scored on his debut at the weekend, the last in a 6-1 demolition of Albion Rovers, and may prove a catalytic signing in what looks like a two-horse race between his new club and Cowdenbeath for the league title.
The best mid-season signing made by any club in Scotland, however, is in the bottom division. Last month, Alloa Athletic loaned Stevie May, a 19-year-old striker, from St Johnstone. May came on as a substitute in the SPL club's first game of the season, but found his opportunities limited by the form of his club's first-choice strike partnership of Fran Sandaza and Cillian Sheridan, and the cover signed by former manager Derek McInnes in the summer.
Since his loan began, May has made a claim that he should have been higher up the pecking order at his parent club. He has scored seven times in six games, a sequence that has included five wins and a draw as Alloa recovered a wayward title challenge, beating both their nearest rivals - May scored three times in those two games - to surge clear at the top.
Paul Hartley, the former Scotland midfielder in charge at Alloa, has marked his first season in management with as influential a pound-for-pound pick-up as there is in any of the four divisions.
Finally, a transfer that has already drawn some criticism. The Scottish Cup final will next season move to a Sunday to avoid a clash with the Champions League final. That is by UEFA decree and, as the SFA are already using the one-time-only dispensation to retain their Saturday finale this season, there seems little to be done about this abdication of the date that traditionally closed out the season.
It is a simple illustration of the positioning by UEFA of the Champions League as the centre of the footballing universe, and the consequential power that body holds over associations who wish to remain on Michel Platini's good side.
However, the cost to the Scottish economy of the unofficial holiday likely to be taken by supporters of the winning team the following Monday may rival the gargantuan sums produced by Europe's premier football brand.