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Dons chase Gallagher and Leigh extensions

Greg Leigh has been called up by Jamaica.
Greg Leigh has been called up by Jamaica.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is stepping up his efforts to extend Jon Gallagher and Greg Leigh’s stay at Pittodrie.

Gallagher’s loan deal from Atlanta United is due to expire at the end of next month and his former Notre Dame coach Bobby Clark expressed his hope to see Gallagher, pictured below, continue with the Dons in 2020.

The former Dons goalkeeper’s wish is close to being granted as McInnes has stepped up talks with the MLS club and expects to finalise a deal to extend the attacker’s loan until the end of the season soon.

He said: “I have had more discussions with Atlanta and Jon himself. Everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet. It is something that will more than likely be agreed.”

The Dons boss is also keen on making left-back Leigh’s stay at the club permanent.

The former Manchester City youth academy graduate joined the Dons on loan for the season in June from NAC Breda with McInnes insisting on an option to make the deal permanent.

Following Leigh’s impressive start to his Aberdeen career McInnes expects the formalities to be completed soon.

He said: “We are in charge of Greg’s situation. It suited everybody to do the initial deal on a loan in the summer for different reasons. We were also keen to have the option to keep him.

“From my own point of view it is a no-brainer. We have a recruitment meeting in the next week or so and it will be brought up at that.”

While McInnes is making plans to have his squad in place for the rest of the campaign he moved quickly to dismiss reports linking him with the Stoke City managerial position yesterday.

The Potters, who are third bottom of the Championship, were reportedly linked with a move for the Aberdeen manager but they yesterday stepped up their interest in Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill by making an apporach for the former Brechin City boss.

McInnes was bemused by the link and was happy to dismiss it immediately.

He said: “I wasn’t aware of the Stoke story until I was told this morning and there’s nothing in it at all.”

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