Carlisle United’s transfer business could go right to the wire tonight with the Blues facing a major call on top target Jerry Yates.

United are continuing to hope they can make a breakthrough for the Rotherham frontman that will see him return to Brunton Park on loan.

That remains their top priority before the 11pm deadline - and remains dependent on the Championship club finally ending their own striker search.

The Cumbrians, though, feel they have a Plan B in their sights if they decide time has run out on 22-year-old Yates.

They are also understood to have lodged enquiries for other frontmen as they try to keep all options open in the final few hours of the window.

United have cast their eye on some younger players and also at least one experienced possibility in the attacking department.

Boss Steven Pressley, though, hopes they can end a busy week of recruitment by securing Yates.

A top midfield target is also still on the agenda of Pressley and director of football David Holdsworth, and the signs are that things could go down to the final stages of deadline day.

The remaining potential signings are seen as the last pieces of the jigsaw as the Blues rebuild their squad in a bid to keep their promotion push on track.

Meanwhile, Pressley’s most recent recruits – Peter Grant, Callum O’Hare and Nathan Thomas – will link up with the squad for the first time at Brunton Park today.

All three will be in contention for places in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Crewe.

Pressley hopes his new additions can quickly gel with the rest of his squad but said they must all work hard to force their way into an in-form team.

“We’ll work [today] on some of the aspects of our play, we’ll try and get as much into them as we can, and we’ll build that over a period,” the manager said.

“A number of our players are performing well at this moment. There might be a couple of changes this weekend but in general the situation is if you’re in the team and performing well, you’re in possession of that jersey.

“At this moment in time, with those that have come in, some of them will have to work hard to get in the team.”

Pressley has said United will be prepared to go the distance today in the hope of adding to their numbers.

“[Deadline day] has never been that busy a day for me because I’ve never had money to spend…so this is kind of different for me!” he said.

“I’m ok with it. I like the fact the window closes and then you have to work with the group of players. That’s really important.

“It tests managers as well. There was a period where, outside the Premiership in the lower leagues, you could continue signing players on loan. What happened was you’d get a couple of injuries or disappointing results and you’d just go out and get a couple of new players.

“It makes us, the managers, have to work harder at finding solutions.

“Also it’s good in the respect that once the window closes, that’s us, and you’re ready to go.

“If we can get the next couple of players in I’ll look forward to the window closing and really focusing on what we need to do.”