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Derek McInnes eyes quality over quantity in transfer hunt

Cammy Smith has made only one start for Aberdeen this season and has been linked with a loan move away from Pittodrie
Cammy Smith has made only one start for Aberdeen this season and has been linked with a loan move away from Pittodrie

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says he will not bring loan players to Pittodrie just to make up the numbers.

Paul Quinn’s departure to Ross County on Tuesday has freed up some funds for McInnes to bolster his squad before the transfer window closes on Monday.

A central midfielder is the priority for the Aberdeen manager, with Willo Flood and captain Ryan Jack still a long way from full fitness following hamstring injuries.

Cammy Smith, who has made only one start this season, could be poised to join Lawrence Shankland on loan at St Mirren after being linked with a move to the Buddies.

Motherwell forward David Clarkson joined the Paisley side yesterday but St Mirren manager Alex Rae is still keen to add to his squad.

The Dons have already seen four players depart since the transfer window opened after Ryan McLaughlin and Josh Parker returned to their parent clubs, goalkeeper Danny Ward was recalled by Liverpool and Quinn departed for Dingwall.

Josh Parker struggled to make an impact during his short stay at Pittodrie
Josh Parker struggled to make an impact during his short stay at Pittodrie

Aberdeen’s only new addition so far has been Rotherham United goalkeeper Adam Collin on a loan deal until the end of the season and it is unlikely that Smith, whose contract expires in 2017, will be allowed to leave until reinforcements are found.

After McLaughlin and Parker’s minimal impact at Pittodrie, McInnes is determined to make sure any loan signings made over the coming days can play their part in Aberdeen’s title challenge.

The Aberdeen manager said: “We won’t get every transfer right but we have to get as many right as possible.

“We don’t want to become a club dependent on loans. Whenever we have brought loans in where we have seen a real place for them in the team they have worked for us.

“When we needed a right back we got Shaleum Logan. When we needed a centre back to cover for Russell Anderson we got Michael Hector. When we needed a goalkeeper we got Danny Ward.

“When we have done that for a first-team spot they have done well but the others we have brought in to be competitive or to supplement the squad haven’t worked as well because they have found it hard to get into the team.

“That is that type of signing I don’t want to make.

“I would rather make a signing who could come in and make an impact on our starting XI.”

Meanwhile, Aberdeen’s Scottish Premiership top-of-the-table tussle against Celtic at Pittodrie next Wednesday is heading for a sellout. More than 16,500 tickets have already been sold for the eagerly-awaited game.

The Dons defeated the Hoops 2-1 when the sides met in Aberdeen in September when the recently-departed Quinn scored a late winner.

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