Aberdeen hold the cards when it comes to deciding when the time is right for Calvin Ramsay to leave Pittodrie.
But with two-and-a-half years remaining on his deal with the Dons, Aberdeen are in a strong bargaining position.
Nathan Patterson’s imminent move to Everton from Rangers shows Aberdeen should be setting their price tag high for their own in-demand right-back.
Rangers right-back Patterson is set to complete a move to the Toffees for an initial £10million with the final deal including add-ons worth potentially £16million to Rangers.
It’s a massive boost for the Premiership champions, but also highlights why Aberdeen should not and, I suspect, will not happily grab the first offer which comes their way.
It has been a tough 18 months due to Covid for football clubs and the Dons have been no exception, but they are on a sound financial footing and under no pressure to sell.
Premier League clubs Manchester United, Newcastle United, Leicester City and Watford are all keeping tabs on the 18-year-old, while German side Eintracht Frankfurt and Bologna of Italy have also joined the race and it’s not hard to see why.
Ramsay is still so young, has played 25 first team games for Aberdeen, 19 of which have come this season, and has provided eight assists from right back.
It is the sort of return Trent Alexander-Arnold would be delighted with in a Liverpool team which dominates possession most weeks, but it is even more impressive from Ramsay when you consider it has come at a team which is in mid-table at the winter break.
Contrast that with Goodison-bound Patterson. He’s two years older, has played 27 first team matches for Rangers in his career and only two of them have come this season.
There’s no doubting Patterson is a talented player. After all, he’s broken into the Scottish national team. But he is behind another player in the pecking order at Ibrox.
Ramsay is the first choice right-back at Pittodrie and it’s not a stretch to say with the stats he is putting up this season his departure would be more keenly felt at Aberdeen should he move on this month.
That’s why I’m hoping he is still at Pittodrie after the window closes – even if it is as a loan player.
It has become clear it is a case of when rather than if Ramsay will move on, but if Aberdeen do accept an offer and Ramsay joins another club this month, then I hope the Dons can reach a loan agreement to keep him at Pittodrie for the rest of the season.
Ramsay is two years younger than Patterson and he will play every week if fit and available for Stephen Glass. That has to be good for his development for a club looking at him as a longer-term investment.
It would also buy Stephen some time to source a replacement for a teenager, who has become a key member of the starting 11 in his breakthrough season.
Whatever happens – if Ramsay does move on, I expect it to be for a record fee.
Aberdeen learned a costly lesson when they turned down a £7million bid from Aston Villa for Scott McKenna in 2018, only to sell the player to Nottingham Forest for less than half that amount two years later.
I don’t expect them to fall into that trap again for Ramsay, but by the same margin they should not sell themselves sort when the offers do start coming in.
There is so much money in English football a £10m transfer is viewed as a bargain buy these days.
That is why the growing number of Premier League clubs interested in Aberdeen’s prized asset is a good thing as far as the Dons are concerned.
Ross County in need of reinforcements
The transfer window has been open only a matter of days but already there has been much activity at Ross County.
Harry Clarke was the first name on the list of January departures when he was recalled by Arsenal on Sunday and he has been followed out of the club by Coll Donaldson yesterday.
With Clarke on his way to Hibernian on loan his departure from Victoria Park is a sore one for Malky Mackay but with Donaldson joining Dunfermline on loan I’d suggest another busy month of transfer activity lies ahead for the Staggies.
Hibs midfielder Alex Gogic has been linked with a move north and I’d be delighted to see him at County this month.
He’s a terrific player and just the sort of player the Staggies need in their bid to push up the Premiership table.
St Mirren are also interested in the Cypriot international while he also has interest from other clubs in Europe but it would be a huge signing for Mackay if he can get him.
Gogic has always impressed me when I’ve watched him and he would bring real experience to the midfield.
County can be a little naïve in the middle of the park at times and Gogic is the right type the club should be looking at. Composed on the ball, a great reader of the game and with decent distribution to boot – he ticks all the boxes for me.
Caley Jags face another test of their title credentials this weekend
It’s a measure of the threat Arbroath now present that Caley Thistle boss Billy Dodds was pleased to come away with a point from the trip to Gayfield on Sunday.
Doddsy has been quick to tell anyone who will listen that Arbroath are going to be in the title race to the wire and I don’t doubt him.
I’ve mentioned Dick Campbell’s side a few times in recent weeks and it’s hard to ignore the remarkable run they are on. They’ve been brilliant in the Championship.
For Inverness, they still have their game in hand on the Red Lichties and they know if they win it they will be joint league leaders of what has become a hugely congested title race.
But right now the focus is on the visit of Raith Rovers this weekend and rightly so. With so many teams in the hunt it feels as if every game is a head-to-head top of the table clash right now.
Things are heating up nicely in the second half of the season.