Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack confirmed manager Stephen Glass will be given a “strong budget” for a summer rebuild.
Glass aims to strengthen the Reds in the transfer window in readiness for an assault on both European and domestic fronts.
The Reds gaffer has already secured Scotland international defender Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Scott Brown (Celtic), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Livingston) and Gary Woods (Oldham) – with more to come.
Although Aberdeen suffered a £10 million financial black hole due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cormack confirmed Glass will be given a war chest to build his squad.
Among the players on Glass’ summer transfer wanted list are Jamie McGrath (St Mirren), Clark Robertson (Rotherham), Jackson Irvine (Hibs) and Jack Gurr (Atlanta United).
Cormack said: “We will have a strong budget again as will come out in our financials.
“It is really up to the manager how he wants to spend the wage bill that we have.
“We as a club will be very competitive wage wise.
“Our financial results versus clubs similar to us state that already.
“Next season will probably be the most competitive league in Scotland for a long, long time.
“A few seasons ago there was no Hibs, no Hearts, no Dundee United, no Rangers.
“They are all there now.
“What we are trying to do this year is take our significant wage bill and use it best we can use it.”
Aberdeen face a battle to land defender Robertson as Israeli side Hapoel Jerusalem are interested in signing the 27-year-old, who is set to become a free agent when his contract at Rotherham expires.
Hapoel Jerusalem, who recently earned promotion to the Israeli top flight, have held a zoom call with Robertson.
Glass has also held talks with Robertson, who was at the club’s Cormack Park training facility earlier this month.
Portsmouth have also contacted wanted man Robertson, with Plymouth Argyle and Fleetwood Town also interested in the former Don.
Aberdeen have made an approach to bring Atlanta United right-back Gurr, 25, in on loan.
Glass is an admirer of St Mirren attacking midfielder McGrath, who has been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for friendlies against Andorra in Barcelona on June 3 and Hungary in Budapest on June 8.
McGrath still has a year left on his deal and insists he is “very happy” at the Buddies and, if the Reds were to step up their interest, it would take a significant six-figure sum for the Paisley club to consider selling their star asset, who netted 17 goals this season.
Hibs’ Australian international midfielder Jackson Irvine is also on Glass’ radar with the 28-year-old’s short-term deal set to expire.
Hibs have stepped up contract talks with Irvine and it is understood that, if he opts to remain in Scotland, it will be with the Easter Road club.
Irvine has been named in the Australian squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Kuwait, Chinese Taipei, Nepal and Jordan in Kuwait City.
Although a strong budget will be in place Cormack insists there is a balance to be struck between signing regular starters, and the wages they will command, with ensuring young emerging talent have a pathway to the first team.
He said: “I am excited for the next period as let’s not forget we have the Celtic (Scott Brown) and Motherwell (Declan Gallagher) captains.
“When you have 24, 25 or 26 people in a squad, you want to get the right balance.
“You can’t hire 25 people that are first-team starters on first-team starter wages.
“You have to get that balance right so that you can invest the right money in the right player in the right positions.”
Glass has only one striker for next season following the acquisition of Emmanuel-Thomas, who will arrive on a two-year contract when the transfer window officially opens on June 1.
Emmanuel-Thomas played primarily as a right winger for Livingston, netting nine times in the recently completed season, but can also play as striker.
US-based businessman Cormack insists signing more goal-scorers is a priority in the summer.
He said “We were challenged in the last third of the field for most of the season.
“That is the area Stephen, Stephen Gunn (director of football) and Allan (Russell, assistant manager) will be focused on.
“However, I will remind the fans that it is important we take the time to find the right people.”