Chairman Dave Cormack has warned circling clubs Aberdeen do not need to sell any of their top stars in January, including Calvin Ramsay.
Teenage right-back Ramsay is on the radar of some of the English Premier League big guns.
Cormack is not surprised Ramsay is a wanted man as data shows the teen is ‘in the elite upper bracket’ of young right backs in Europe.
English top-flight clubs have been studying that data on the 18-year-old.
Manchester United, Everton, Leicester City, West Ham and Southampton are all tracking the Scotland U21 international.
Aberdeen are braced for interest in Ramsay, and other players, from England when the transfer window opens on January 1.
It is understood Blackburn Rovers are also set to launch a fresh bid to land attacker Ryan Hedges during the winter window.
Championship side Blackburn had a bid of under £500,000 for Hedges rejected by Aberdeen in the summer.
It is understood Blackburn’s preferred option is to secure Hedges on a pre-contract agreement in January.
Aberdeen also knocked back a bid of under £2 million from Premier League Watford for midfielder Lewis Ferguson in May.
Ferguson has since made his Scotland international breakthrough, earning two caps.
Aberdeen ready to play hardball
Despite the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Cormack insists Aberdeen do not have to cash in on their top stars in January.
Aberdeen last month announced operating losses of £5.19m during the 2020/21 financial year.
But Cormack says the Dons will only sell a player if the price is right and they have the time frame to sign a replacement.
Which is why any late bid in the January window will be rejected.
Cormack said: “We don’t need to sell players in January, I can tell you that right now.
“In saying that, if the right price comes along for the right player and we have the ability to replace that player, then it is something we would look at.
“However, we won’t be encouraging any last-minute window approaches for the sake of us being unable to replace players.”
Ramsay in Euro ‘elite upper bracket’
Right-back Ramsay is understood to be on Everton boss Rafa Benitez’s January signing wish list.
Benitez stepped up his interest after sending one of his top scouts to watch Ramsay in the 2-0 loss at Motherwell in September.
Goodison Park boss Benitez is in the market for a young right-back.
He lost out on a summer move for Rangers’ teenage Scotland international right-back Nathan Patterson, with bids of £5m and £8m rejected by the Ibrox club.
There’s not many right-backs like Calvin at that age doing what he does when you look at all the data.
“All these clubs look at the same systems.
“They will have seen the same things that we have – that he’s in the elite upper bracket for a young right-back in Europe. Right up there across Europe, and they are seeing that.”
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack
Ramsay is contracted to Aberdeen until summer 2024, having signed a new deal in January.
Manchester United are also understood to have compiled a transfer dossier on Ramsay.
Cormack confirmed there has been no contact from clubs regarding Ramsay – yet.
Cormack said: “There’s not many right-backs like Calvin at that age doing what he does when you look at all the data.
“All these clubs look at the same systems.
“They will have seen the same things that we have – that he’s in the elite upper bracket for a young right back in Europe. Right up there across Europe, and they are seeing that.
“That’s why we believe there will be a lot of interest, although we have not had a call from anyone yet.”
Aberdeen braced for approach
Aberdeen youth academy graduate Ramsay broke into the team in March and has been a sensation this season.
Ramsay is currently sidelined with a thigh muscle injury that has ruled him out of the last eight games.
Cormack said: “He’s a lovely kid who looks after himself and has his feet on the ground.
“And he can use both feet.”
The battle to retain Ryan Hedges and Lewis Ferguson
Aberdeen are also preparing for a move from England for Hedges, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
The Welsh international is free to talk to any interested clubs from the start of the transfer window on January 1.
Aberdeen are desperate to secure Hedges on a new contract.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) August 12, 2021
Pittodrie director of football Steven Gunn has been locked in talks with Hedges and his agent.
Manager Stephen Glass recently said he would ideally like Hedges to make a decision on his future before the January window opens.
Glass wants to keep Hedges, but knows the impasse and uncertainty on the attacker’s future cannot drag on.
If Hedges does decide to move on, Glass wants time to move for replacements.
Scotland cap Ferguson could also potentially raise interest in January.
Ferguson slapped in a written transfer request in May, which was rejected, when the Dons knocked back Watford’s bid.
The 22-year-old has scored seven times this season and is in contention to make Steve Clarke’s squad for the World Cup play-offs in March.
GOAL! Aberdeen 1-1 Celtic (Ferguson, 56)
Lewis Ferguson equalises for Aberdeen – game on! ⚽
📺 Watch live on Sky Sports Football! pic.twitter.com/cLsiDeVlPW
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) October 3, 2021
Ferguson is contracted to Aberdeen until summer 2024.
Cormack said: “We haven’t had any contact from any clubs in any of our young players, Calvin Ramsay or otherwise.
“The window is coming up so we will see.
“Calvin has been out injured and it might be another two to three weeks before he is back, I don’t know.
“Players will go if it is right for them and the club as well.”