Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has told English Championship club Cardiff City to get serious if they want to sign midfielder Jonny Hayes.
The Bluebirds had a £500,000 bid for the Irishman rejected on Thursday night. Cardiff manager Neil Warnock is expected to bid again for the 29-year-old former Caley Thistle player and McInnes wants the issue settled quickly.
Time is running short for the manager to sign a replacement and McInnes said: “We will have to wait and see what Cardiff do but if clubs are serious about wanting to take one of our players then they have to be serious with the offer.
“Talk of a move could destabilise a player but what it can’t do is destabilise us. It’s important Jonny knuckles down and we have to focus on getting through the rest of the window. It’s important we don’t lose players and the actions of others is the only thing that can change it.
“Jonny understood why the Cardiff offer was turned down. He accepts we were quite within our rights to turn down that offer so it’s important things get resolved quickly.”
Hayes scored the opener inside the first minute as Aberdeen completed their training trip to Dubai with a 2-1 win against Uzbek club Bunyodkor at Jebel Ali on the outskirts of the city yesterday.
Graeme Shinnie scored a 77th-minute winner for the Dons after Javokhir Esankulov had equalised against the run of player before the interval.
McInnes believes Hayes showed his focus in his performance and added: “For any player it is flattering to be linked with a good Championship club, but we have created an environment which means it is going to be a wrench for any player to leave.
“I’m sure for Jonny, like any player, it is only natural to get the head turned a bit but he accepts he has work to do with us until we decide. He’s a good lad and I want the best for him, but that’s why the bid needs to be serious.
“Jonny seems fine, he scored the goal and put in a shift. He knows how things work, he is an experienced player and he just wants to make the best of his career and if a move to another club helps him do that we will have to deal with it. But, for now, he’s our player and we want that to continue.
“He is a key player for us. Anyone who has watched us over the past three-and-a-half years will have seen how consistent he is and why we want to keep him.”