Aberdeen have joined the race for Motherwell midfielder Allan Campbell.
The Dons are planning on offering the 22 year-old, who is out of contract next summer, a pre-contract to move to Pittodrie next summer.
Aberdeen would still have to pay Well training costs for Campbell should he opt for a move north but that has not prevented them from preparing to make their pitch to the player.
Dons boss Derek McInnes is a huge admirer of Campbell and singled the player out for praise following his display in Motherwell’s 3-0 win at Pittodrie on September 20.
McInnes said: “Campbell came up and played to win points, we played to play a game of football. Campbell encapsulated Motherwell’s performance. We needed more Allan Campbell’s in our team today.”
The Scotland under-21 international is also a target for Hibernian with the Easter Road side reportedly ready to test the Steelmen’s resolve by tabling a £200,000 offer before the transfer window closes on Monday.
However, it is understood Motherwell are keen to retain their player’s services for the season and it will take a substantial bid to entice them to let Campbell leave before the summer.
While McInnes is ready to make a move for the Well player the Dons boss believes Tommie Hoban has a key part to play as he nears full fitness.
The Dons were keen to ease Hoban back after 18 months on the sidelines with a knee injury but having started the last two games in Lisbon against Sporting Clube de Portgual and Sunday’s 3-0 win at Ross County McInnes believes Hoban is ready to play consistently.
He said: “We spoke to Tommie on Friday and he felt good on the Friday. We wanted to make that assessment again on the Saturday after training and we never named the team until we saw how he was feeling.
“He felt good to go. He was even reluctant to come off as a substitute and that’s a good sign. There’s no doubt that last week, taking him and McKenna out that back three wasn’t ideal. They had been doing particularly well.
“Tommie has got the ability to make the person next to him and the players around him better. He, along with others, is very important. “
Hoban’s return to action has allowed McInnes to field a 3-4-3 formation and the change in system has brought five wins from the last six Premiership matches.
McInnes insists Hoban’s presence has been key in that run.
He said: “I’ve flirted with it before and maybe not quite had the right personnel to really commit to it.
“I do think having Tommie who can dip in and out from centre-back to full-back, Andy Considine who can do the same anyway on the other side, and having that flexibility at the back helps.
“But Jonny Hayes is massive for that. Jonny, at this stage in his career, is the perfect wing back.
“It’s important that you try and get your best players in their best positions and give yourself the best chance to win a game.
“It’s suiting us for now, and hopefully if we can work away at it, we can keep improving as we go along.”