Derek McInnes reckons Aberdeen having their players on long-term deals puts them in a position of strength next month.
Sam Cosgrove and Scott McKenna have been the Dons two most in-demand players but are on deals until 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Derby have been linked with Cosgrove, who has 19 goals this season, while Aston Villa, Celtic, Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers and Hull City have all had bids for McKenna turfed out in the last two years. Skipper Joe Lewis and Lewis Ferguson have also signed bumper five-year extensions this year, keeping them at the club until 2024.
Mcnnes is anticipating interest in his players when the window opens in less than a fortnight’s time but believes the work they have already done on tying players down puts them in the box seat.
The Aberdeen boss said: “It is a hope. We have already heard the new chairman saying we don’t want to lose our best players. That is music to my ears and the supporters’ ears. We want to try and retain our best players and performers for as long as we possibly can.
“But we are in an industry and a league where if offers come from richer clubs south of the border then clubs might need to look at it. Thankfully, we have a lot of our main assets tied up for a considerable period of time. It gives us the strength through negotiations and we can be a bit more relaxed about it and we’ll see what offers come in for any of our players.
“I think it would be naïve to think that we won’t get interest from others because we have a lot of good players at a good level.”
McInnes takes his side to Celtic tomorrow, chasing their first win against the league champions since May 2018. Their 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies last weekend kept the Dons in third place, while the Hoops beat Hearts 2-0 in midweek to extend their lead to five points at the top of the Premiership.
McInnes added: “By and large, over the period, we have been here we have managed to compete well with Celtic for the vast majority of the time. Sometimes the results don’t always come but we have certainly had enough positive results. Hopefully, we can go down and be good enough on the day.”