Derek McInnes insists staying with Aberdeen remains an option for Gary Mackay-Steven despite interest from New York City.
The Dons received notification on Wednesday evening from the MLS side that they wanted to speak to Mackay-Steven, who is out of contract at the end of the season, about a deal.
Prior to his injury in the Betfred Cup final, Mackay-Steven had been in a flourishing run of form, bagging six goals and earning himself a recall to the Scotland squad.
McInnes hopes the winger does not forget the platform the Dons have given him to revitalise his career and has received assurances that staying at Pittodrie is on the table.
He said: “We got an email on Wednesday night from New York City with a notification they intended to speak to Gary’s representatives about a contract for next season. We said that was fine, he’s well within his rights. We spoke to Gary’s agent on Wednesday and Gary himself yesterday, who said he was only made available about it on the morning.
“I think he was still in a bit of surprise about it. I just asked him if we were still an option – there’s no point in me wasting my time in spinning it out longer than we have to. But he said he sees the benefit of staying here and while he will have options, this is the first one. We’re still very much in consideration.
“All I’ve said to him is what we’ve gave him, in terms of being a key player again and being back in international setup. He’s clearly happy. For any player, being happy at their work can help with their performances. For creative players, being on song is indication that they’re happy.
“My job is to show him why staying with us is the right thing. Hopefully he sees the benefit of it. He’s a popular boy with everyone at the club.”
Mackay-Steven arrived from Celtic in the summer of 2017 after struggling for game-time during the first season under Brendan Rodgers. The 28-year-old has stepped on since then and had arguably been the club’s best player this season prior to his injury.
The former Ross County and Dundee United man is out with the Dons at their Dubai base this week and is in contention to return against Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Cup next weekend. He has not featured since the head knock sustained against Celtic on December 2.