Dagnall will be ineligible for tomorrow’s FA Cup third round tie against Swansea City but his arrival is still a welcome boost to the Tykes, who are short on personnel.
Striker Danny Haynes is set to join Charlton Athletic after being transfer listed while Nile Ranger’s loan deal from Newcastle United was ended by injury.
The Tykes are also close to re-signing Manchester United midfielder Danny Drinkwater on loan until the end of the season.
Hill hopes that Dagnall, currently finalising a permanent two-and-a-half-year deal, will be the first of five new arrivals during the January transfer window.
He has also stressed the importance of making permanent acquisitions rather than relying on loan deals. “Historically, over previous seasons, the last 20 games have been full of loan signings who have no loyalty to this football club,” he said.
“I am trying to build a foundation to get to Base One and Base One is Championship status.
“Financially, we are not well blessed and we are trying to make ends meet. I want five players so we have the nucleus of a squad to build on in the summer.”
Dagnall scored 20 goals when Rochdale won promotion to League One two years ago and played alongside both Chris O’Grady (now at Sheffield Wednesday) and (ex-Rotherham United striker) Adam Le Fondre in the Lancashire club’s attack.
He moved to Scunthorpe United as a free agent in the summer of 2010 but has struggled to make an impact at Glanford Park.
Hill said: “We know a lot about him and are really pleased to acquire his services. He can play in a number of positions and I think he will be well liked. His work-rate is excellent, he’s a very clever player, and he adds to what we have already got.”
Dagnall is cup-tied tomorrow, having played for Scunthorpe in the last round, and despite his arrival, Hill stressed that there is ‘no issue’ surrounding the future of Ricardo Vaz Te.
The in-form Portuguese striker has scored 10 goals in 20 appearances this season, including a hat-trick against Leeds United last weekend, but will be out of contract in the summer.
Hill rubbished reports that Vaz Te had rejected a longer deal and also criticised the player’s advisers.
“Managing Ricardo is not hard. Managing speculation and the rest of the entourage is more difficult. Players take advice from people who know nothing really about the game. A lot of these people advising Ricardo have probably never kicked a ball in anger.
“Prior to this season, no one even wanted to take Ricardo on trial so we have done something right and Ricardo has done a lot right. What have other people done?” he queried.
“We have given him an opportunity and he has taken it. Other than that, there is no panic and there should be no issue. If we can start negotiating on new contracts towards the end of the season that will be superb. I have not said anything to him yet because I am happy with him progressing.”
Hill says striker Haynes will be allowed to leave just 12 months after his arrival from Bristol City.
The former England Under-19 international has been unhappy with his lack of first-team opportunities and has not even been on the bench in recent games. “He got injured at the wrong time of the season and has probably been a little impatient in respect to being a substitute,” said Hill. “He wants to play, like all players do, but it is my job to manage a squad and, within it, the individuals.
“There’s never a fall out – I don’t fall out with players,” he added. “We have differences and we talk things through. But you have to consider the form Ricado has been been in and Craig Davies. We also have Andy Gray and Matty Done and the systems we are playing best suit those players.
“I am not suggesting Danny is not a good player – but he’s probably best now finding a new footballing home. If he does that, I will be delighted for him,” added Hil.
Haynes is expected to sign for League One leaders Charlton next week although other clubs are still in the frame.
The loss of midfielder Jacob Butterfield for the rest of the season with a knee inury has given Hill yet another problem to solve in the transfer window.
Butterfield, 21, had been linked to a number of Premier League clubs and has yet to sign a deal beyond the end of the season.
“We will have to wait for dust to settle and then have a meeting with his representatives to try and thrash out what’s best for the future of Jacob Butterfield,” said Hill.
“We will try and give him every support we can as a football club because he is still a massive asset to this football club. It will be very difficult to replace Jacob and maybe now we will all realise how good he is.”
Hill revealed that midfielder Drinkwater is back training after recovering from a thigh injury and expects a decision on his future today. Hill ruled out a move for Manchester City’s Gai Assulin and confirmed that midfielder Nathan Doyle was still surplus to requirements after returning from a loan spell at Preston North End.