Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has called on the club’s board to back him as he faces the biggest summer rebuild of his Pittodrie career.
McInnes faces an upheaval of his squad with four loan players due to leave at the end of this season plus a number of players out of contract.
Captain Graeme Shinnie has held talks with Derby County, while Gary Mackay-Steven, Greg Halford and Tomas Cerny see their deals expire. Mark Reynolds has already signed a pre-contract agreement with Dundee United but Andy Considine remains hopeful of extending his stay in the Granite City. Greg Stewart, James Wilson, Dominic Ball and Max Lowe will see their loan deals run out, with Rangers linked with Stewart and McInnes keen to bring Ball to the club on a permanent deal.
McInnes said: “There’s loads of changes needed. There’s lots of work to be done. If you look at it, the potential out of contract players, the loans and whatever, there are players leaving.
“It will be the biggest summer yet. We’ll need the support (from the board) to go and rebuild. I know where we operate, I know that we genuinely have to try and look at the loans and free agents. Money’s tight. We’ve got a training ground to build, a stadium to build. It’s difficult to replace the quality that we’re potentially going to be losing.”
Scott Wright, Bruce Anderson and Danny Rogers will come back from loan spells and are under contract, while Ethan Ross and Dean Campbell could play bigger roles. McInnes though does not plan to go with a bigger squad for the 2019-20 season.
He said: “We can’t go with a bigger squad. If everybody was fit, and you included some of the youngsters, we had 22 players, which was enough. It’s always proven to be enough. We had a decision to make in January about Reynolds and defensively we’ve not been too bad of late in terms of numbers.
“We looked at Scott Wright and at time we had Gary, Niall, Connor and were hoping young Ethan Ross and Frank Ross were due to be back. Greg could play there if we needed. We felt we had the options there if we needed that would allow Scott to go out. Young Bruce goes out because we feel that it’s right for his development.
“You’re not anticipating the injuries that you’re going to get. It’s disappointing. If everybody is fit and it’s a normal season, then I feel we’ve got enough numbers. Next season will be tight again and trying to utilise what we’ve got, squad wise. There will be a lot of rebuilding within that as well. The younger ones will be even more prominent. In terms of numbers, I think it’ll be roughly where we are.”