Jimmy Calderwood: A new deal for Kenny McLean should be top priority for the Dons

Aberdeen's Kenny McLean

Securing the future of midfielder Kenny McLean should be a top priority for the Dons, according to former Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood.

The 25-year-old signed a three-and-a-half year contract when he joined Aberdeen from St Mirren on February 2, 2015 in a deal worth £175,000.

McLean has become a mainstay in Derek McInnes’ team having featured in 108 consecutive games for the Dons – starting in all but four of them.

But the player has entered the final year of his contract and will be free to talk to other clubs in January.

Rangers, who released McLean as a youngster, had a bid rejected for the midfielder during the summer transfer window and Light Blues manager Pedro Caixinha remains keen to bring McLean to Ibrox.

But Calderwood hopes the Dons can hang on to McLean, who won his first cap for Scotland in a 1-0 away win against Czech Republic in March 2016.

He said: “Kenny is a fantastic player.

“I’m sure Derek will be trying to keep him at the club.

“Aberdeen have signed a lot of good players over the last few years and he is certainly one of them.

“Sometimes a player can want a change and under those circumstances there is very little a club can do.

“But Aberdeen is a great place to play football.

“I think Kenny would be good enough to go play in Europe somewhere.

“He is such a technical player and that style of football could suit his game.

“But if he wants to go somewhere else in Scotland then there aren’t many clubs bigger than Aberdeen.

“They are going to have him for at least one more season and then it will be down to Kenny.

“I’m sure Aberdeen will try to their best to persuade him to stay.

“It won’t be easy for him to leave the club as it is such a great place to work unless he already has something lined up.

“He has been a very good Aberdeen player.”

The Dons, meanwhile, will be hoping that the exertions from last night’s Champions League match with Paris Saint-Germain will tell when Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic host Ross County this weekend.

Derek McInnes’ side, who are level on points with the Hoops after five games, take on Kilmarnock at Pittodrie on Saturday.

Calderwood added: “Aberdeen will hope that Celtic are vulnerable after these big Champions League games and might drop points but I’m not sure how often that will happen.

“Celtic have such a big squad with so many good players who will be ready to step in at the weekend if things need freshened up after the European games.

“They can handle balancing European and domestic football.”