BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
DEREK McInnes has warned any clubs interested in signing Aberdeen’s best players that they will have to possess deep pockets.
Winger Jonny Hayes has been linked with a possible £500,000 bid from Gary Caldwell’s Wigan Athletic but McInnes insists he has not received any enquiry for any key member of his squad, and nor would he welcome one.
The Dons manager firmly believes Hayes would be best served remaining at Pittodrie and is adamant the Premiership runners-up will be no pushovers in the transfer market if suitors do come calling.
“There’s been no approaches at all, Jonny included,” he said. “We have a lot of good players that I’m sure clubs will look at but the majority are under contract for a period of time. Jonny is under contract for two years.
“We feel we are a good club ourselves, that we have a good stature at Aberdeen, and we are not just going to roll over.
“If anyone has an interest in our players, if they want to come and buy our players they will have to put up a significant amount of money.
“I know how happy Jonny is here and we can give Jonny a lot of what he is looking for in his career. We want to keep our good players.”
McInnes has revealed he is eyeing ‘two or three’ signings before the domestic season kicks off on August 6 and could hand a trial to Uganda midfielder Khalid Aucho, who was previously linked with Rangers, if visa complications can be resolved.
However, with at least a trio of youngsters expected to be farmed out for first-team experience, including goalkeeper Danny Rogers, one player the Pittodrie boss is in no hurry to let go is striker Lawrence Shankland.
The 20-year-old, who spent last season on loan at St Mirren, netted in Monday’s 3-0 win over Welsh side TNS and is expected to be given an opportunity to impress in the coming weeks.
“He did well in the game,” added McInnes. “He finished the season well with St Mirren and has come back determined to make his mark. That’s what you want.
“I’ve been asked about Lawrence but I’m not in a rush to put him out again.”
Meanwhile, McInnes has spoken of Aberdeen’s ‘pride’ at the part played by Niall McGinn in Northern Ireland’s progress to the last-16 of Euro 2016, even though his international success will delay the former Celtic attacker’s return to his club.
“Everyone takes pride,” said McInnes. “The whole of the team were having dinner and watching the (Ukraine) game when he scored. It was great. You want to see players you’ve worked with do well.
“The players are really fond of Niall. We want him to get the best experience of the Euros. Selfishly, we want him back – but having maximised the championships.
“It reflects well on the club. He’s an Aberdeen player and representing us as much as his country.”