Aberdeen Director of Football Steven Gunn insists the club will land the right man to lead the search for signing targets.
The Dons are hunting for a new Head of Recruitment after Russ Richardson left that role in May following an extensive review of the club’s football structure.
Gunn insists it is a pivotal role to the long term success of the club and will be a ‘massive appointment’.
He confirmed a host of strong candidates have shown an interest in the vacant role and the club are now whittling down the list.
Gunn anticipates an appointment to be made sometime in July and reassured the Red Army they will land the best man for the job.
Gunn said: “The Head of Recruitment role is going to be a massive appointment for us.
“Heads of recruitment often stay in roles for a long time.
“There are loads of experienced people out there who have shown an interest in the role so we are pleased in terms of quality of candidate we are able to select from.
“We are part way through the process now but we don’t want to rush it and make a poor decision.
“We want to make sure that we get this one absolutely right.
“This is an appointment not just for this window but absolutely for future windows.
“I think we will likely see an outcome in the next few weeks.”
Former Celtic striker Tommy Johnson, 50, has been linked with the vacant head of recruitment role at Aberdeen.
Gunn, who was recently promoted from Director of Football Operations at Pittodrie to Director of Football in the club’s revamp insists the Reds aim to lead the field not just in recruitment.
We have been much braver in terms of our commitment to players.
“When you look back to players like McKenna and when Ferguson first came in we were committed to contracts of four or five years.”
Steven Gunn, Aberdeen Director of Football
Aberdeen intend to move quickly to secure top talent on long term deals to maximise their impact whilst playing for the club and also their value if they are eventually sold on.
Gunn points to recent examples such as Scotland international defender Scott McKenna and midfielder Lewis Ferguson of being ‘braver’ with signed players by making the commitment of securing them to long term deals.
Ferguson has signed two contract extensions since joining the Reds from Hamilton in 2018 and is tied to the Reds until summer 2024.
Aberdeen recently rejected two bids from Premier League Watford, with the second £2m, for Ferguson who returned for pre-season training with the squad last week.
Pittodrie Youth Academy graduate McKenna also signed a long term deal and eventually moved to Nottingham Forest last summer in a £3m transfer that could rise to £5m with achievable add-ons.
Gunn said: “We have been much braver in terms of our commitment to players.
“When you look back to players like McKenna and also when Ferguson first came in we were committed to contracts of four or five years.
“We have just signed three of our younger talents on longer term contracts – Jack MacKenzie, Calvin Ramsay and Kevin Hanratty.
“And there is more to follow.
“We are in dialogue with a few now.
“That all points towards our strategy as we want to retain our best young talent and put a pathway in front of them.
“Then they have also got to prove to Stephen (Glass, manager) they are capable of competing in his team.
“But what we are able to do is build up that value in the squad.
“Even if we lose one or two players down the road then we have other players chapping on the door ready for their opportunity.
“It shows the value of the Youth Academy and the importance of it going forward for this club.”
Uefa top 100 club the target
Gunn also underlined Aberdeen’s commitment to becoming a Uefa top 100 club.
Aberdeen are currently 151st in the Uefa rankings and despite competing in Europe for the seven previous seasons under former manager Derek McInnes the Reds did not progress beyond the Europa League third qualifying round.
Manager Stephen Glass will lead them out in the Uefa Europa Conference League second qualifying round against BK Hacken on July 22.
Gunn said: “We want to be a Uefa Top 100 club.
“The only way we’re going to achieve that is through performances on the pitch.
“We’ve had a period of relative success through qualifying for Europe regularly, getting to that third qualifying stage.
“But we’re looking to make those one or two steps further than we’ve been able to achieve.
“To do that we need that blend – the experience that’s got the nous to see us through ties we wouldn’t be expected to win.
“We’re going to be coming up against teams who have got bigger resources than we do, so we have to be a bit cleverer in putting that squad together that’s going to compete on the pitch.”