TOWN boss Mark Cooper is hopeful the club will complete the signing of Fabien Robert this week.

The Frenchman has been one of the standouts from Swindon’s raft of trialists so in pre-season, but was not present at the County Ground to see Town lose 4-1 West Bromwich Albion.

The Robins chief confirmed the club are in discussions with Robert, who is apparently back in France, about bringing him to the County Ground permanently and is hoping the deal will be done shortly.

“We’re not a million miles away,” said Cooper on the deal for the former Lorient man.

“We’re in talks to try and sign him, so hopefully that goes well and we get him on board next week.”

Town fielded four more trialists against Albion. Liverpool youth keeper Lawrence Vigouroux, former Manchester United defender Richard Eckersly, former Oxford United attacker Jeremy Balmy and John-Christophe Ayina previously of Getafe CF B.

Cooper did not offer too much assessment of the new faces.

On Vigouroux, the Town boss said: “He commanded his box and looked as if he could play the ball out with his feet. It’s one we’re looking at.

“If he comes in it would be a loan, it’s good of Liverpool to let us have a look at him.”

On Eckersly Cooper was equally non-committal.

“(Eckersly) has just another trialist so we thought we’d have a look at him," he added. 

"He’s just come back from America and he’s desperate to get fixed up.

“When these players become available it’s important you have a look at them.

“You don’t play for Man United under Alex Ferguson with the team they had with Ronaldo and that if you’re a mug do you?”

Former Broadfields United and Edgware Town wide-man James Brophy again came off the bench, his future at the County Ground remains unclear.

However the other trialists seen on Tuesday night against Villa, Jack Jebb and Abdelaye Diakite have definitely not been offered deals.

Cooper insists he only wants players who will improve the squad he has.

“It’s important that the ones you bring in can help you, or make your squad stronger,” he explained.

“We need a couple players in, we’re all aware of that and I know the chairman’s working hard to get that done, but the sooner the better.”

The Swindon Advertiser was not permitted to attend Cooper's post-match media duties.