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‘The only place I’m going in January is Dubai’: Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna dismisses speculation

Scott McKenna scored the winning goal against Rangers last week.
Scott McKenna scored the winning goal against Rangers last week.

Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna says the only place he intends to go in January is Dubai.

Aston Villa had a £6.5 million bid for the 22-year-old rejected on the final day of the transfer window in August.

Swansea City, Hull City and Celtic are among a series of clubs who have been linked with a move for the Scotland international, who is under contract until 2023.

But the defender is not thinking about the possibility of leaving the Dons when the transfer window reopens next month and says the only move away from Pitttodrie he is expecting is to make is to go on the club’s mid-season break to Dubai.

He said: “I don’t take anything to do with that side of things.

“The  manager will make sure I am focused here and that is what I will concentrate on doing.

“We will get a few days off in January.

“We will get the feet up and then we will be off to Dubai.

“After that we will be preparing for the Scottish Cup game against Stenhousemuir when we come back. That is all I am focusing on.”

McKenna, meanwhile, has praised the contribution goalkeeper Joe Lewis has made this season for the Dons.

While Aberdeen’s attackers have received criticism for a shortage of goals this term, the club’s defence has received plenty of praise for their resolute displays.

McKenna believes a large part of defensive solidity is down to the impact of Lewis, who has kept eight clean sheets in 22 appearances this term.

The defender said: “He is absolutely massive for us.  The penalty save in the Betfred Cup final against Celtic kept us in the game as if they had scored a second so early in the second half it would have left us with a mountain to climb.

“You also saw Joe’s quality in the 1-0 win at Ibrox.  We were down to 10 men and he pulled off a string of brilliant saves.

“If Rangers had equalised with 11 men on the pitch then it would have been really hard but Joe kept them out and his performance gave the entire team confidence.

“He talks to me all the time.  He gets on to me if I am not in the right position you can hear him barking out instructions.

“He is also a top goalkeeper with a real presence.  He comes out and takes corners, take the pressure off us and relaxes us all.”

McKenna believes Lewis, who has been called up to the England senior squad in the past, is capable of playing for bigger clubs than Aberdeen but believes it is a credit to Dons manager Derek McInnes and assistant Tony Docherty that the 31-year-old has pledged his future to the club.

He added:  “It says a lot about the club that we are managing to keep players like Joe.  “I’m sure he has had offers to go elsewhere.

“To be fair Aberdeen are doing their bit.  We have been getting to cup finals and we have been up there challenging at the top end of the league.

“I’m sure that is part of the reason Joe is still here and hopefully he will be here for plenty more years to come.”

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