Aberdeen turned down a club-record fee for defender Scott McKenna from Aston Villa as the Dons clung on to the Scotland international through last night’s transfer deadline.
English Championship side Villa wanted to take McKenna on loan until January with the option to buy for a fee around £7million in January.
It is understood the approach was swiftly rejected by the Pittodrie hierarchy with McKenna not due to return from a hamstring injury until the St Johnstone game after the international break.
Dons manager Derek McInnes insisted the player would not leave Pittodrie during the transfer window after Celtic had a £3.5million bid rejected for the player. Swansea City were also interested in luring McKenna to the Championship.
McKenna is under contract with the Dons until 2023 and manager Derek McInnes has previously stated he will go straight to the Premier League and bypass the Championship, when he leaves Pittodrie.
McInnes said after the Hibernian game last weekend: “McKenna’s market will be the English Premiership and we’re not in a rush to sell. We’re hoping he can be a big part for us this season. For me, he’ll go to the English Premiership and we’ll get the bigger ticket on the back of that. It’s not a case of if, but when with that. I’m confident of that.”
The previous record fee received by the Dons was the £1.3million Celtic paid for Jonny Hayes last summer.
Meanwhile, emergence of Aberdeen’s young talent has helped manager Derek McInnes with his summer recruitment as deadline day passed without any new arrivals at Pittodrie.
Scott Wright made a positive impact before sustaining an ankle injury last week, while Frank Ross and Bruce Anderson have emerged as handy contributors to the first-team.
Ross and Anderson could well feature in today’s game against Kilmarnock with Wright sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.
Teenager Dean Campbell is another tipped for a big future at Pittodrie and the young players pushing for places in McInnes’ squad has negated the need to bring more players into the club in the transfer market.
McInnes said: “I think that Scott Wright and Frank Ross coming through has boosted us in the attacking areas and we always felt young Bruce Anderson could be one of our four strikers this season. When you see the youngsters do so well in training and then in game time then the squad expands naturally and that’s the way we want it to be.
“We want more youngsters coming through from the development squad and not just settling for being a bit-part player. I want them to make it tougher for me not to play them and both Wright and Ross have certainly done that recently. It’s great for me seeing the youngsters deal with that level of expectation when they get the chance in the first team.”