Derek McInnes believes Scott McKenna is the best centre-half in Scotland and will go straight to the English Premier League when he leaves Aberdeen.
The Dons have had a conversation with English Championship side Swansea about McKenna’s availability but McInnes thinks he is too good for the second tier.
Swansea are in the market for a centre-back with Alfie Mawson on the verge of joining Fulham for £18 million. Aberdeen are reluctant to sell McKenna, who won his first Scotland caps and captained his country this year. He is under contract until 2023 and was the subject of prolonged January interest from English Championship side Hull City.
McInnes lauded his defender’s abilities ahead of the Europa League tie with Burnley today.
He said: “We’ve had a conversation with Swansea. They asked about Scott’s availability and that was it. I don’t expect them to make an offer but if they do it’s not something we would be encouraging.
“We are not saying he is not for sale. But any offer for McKenna will need to be way over the top – whether that’s in this window, the next window or a future window. It’s not a matter of if Scott McKenna leaves Aberdeen. It’s when. From my point of view, given what we want to do this season I would rather it was further down the line. I think he is the best centre-half in Scotland right now.
“Swansea have just sold a centre half for £18-20 million and for me Scott McKenna will be every bit as good – and has potential to be even better – than the boy who has just left. We are well aware of his ability and that the vultures are circling and they are all having a look at Scott.
“But I think Scott will go straight to the English Premier League in time. He will bypass the Championship. He is too good not to be playing in the Premier League in the future. I think Scott feels he is good enough too. I think it suggests the confidence that the player has in himself.
“No disrespect to the Championship clubs because they have a lot of money to spend but I think Scott will go straight to the Premier League. I am just hoping it is not this summer and I am hoping it is not.”