If a bidding war for Calvin Ramsay erupts Aberdeen can use the example of £16 million Nathan Patterson to ramp up any fee.
Clubs across Europe are lining up in the race to land right-back Ramsay.
With a host of English Premier League clubs interested in the teen, the Dons are braced for bids during the window.
Italian Serie A Bologna and German Bundesliga Eintracht Frankfurt have also entered the battle to land Ramsay.
Top-flight Watford are understood to be the first to make contact with Aberdeen to discuss a potential January deal.
It will likely be the starting gun to a race to land one of the hottest properties in Scottish football.
Aberdeen can use the multiple club interest, and Patterson’s £16m Everton move, to ramp up any potential transfer fee.
There is much similarity between Ramsay and Patterson.
Both are young Scottish full-backs contracted to their clubs until summer 2024.
They are attack-minded, exciting talents with less than 30 starts for their clubs.
The only differences is Patterson is a Scotland senior international with six caps, having made the breakthrough last year.
Ramsay has been capped at Scotland U21 level, although a call-up to Steve Clarke’s side is surely inevitable if his current trajectory continues.
Another difference is Ramsay is a regular first team starter for Aberdeen and Patterson was not at Rangers.
Patterson was behind Rangers captain James Tavernier in the right-back pecking order.
If Patterson is worth £12m plus an additional £4m in add-ons, what is Ramsay worth?
Surely a figure that would obliterate the Dons’ club record £3m received for Scott McKenna’s sale to Nottingham Forest in 2020?
Especially if the Dons use Patterson as a bargaining tool for the going rate for young Scottish right-backs.
Obviously Aberdeen, if they were to sell, would never get £16m for Ramsay.
Patterson’s fee is inflated because he comes from the league champions, has played in European knock-out stages and is an international.
However, the Patterson deal offers an insight into the worth of talented young Scot.
And an indicator of how deep English clubs are willing to dig into their coffers to land an exciting Premiership full-back.
In his breakthrough season, Ramsay has delivered eight assists in Europe and the Scottish top flight.
It’s no wonder clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, Leicester City and Newcastle United are keen on signing him.
Add in Watford, West Ham, Southampton and Norwich, and there could be a bidding war if clubs really want the teen.
The success of former Premiership full-backs Andy Robertson (Liverpool) and Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) has got English top flight clubs looking for more.
Aberdeen are in a strong position as they don’t need to sell in January and Ramsay has an extended contract until 2024.
The growing number of clubs, and the Patterson fee, can only make the Dons’ position even stronger.
Aberdeen, though, are in no rush to sell the teen, who is still serving an apprenticeship.
Ramsay’s exciting talent could light up the Dons first team for a while yet and perhaps be pivotal to the club securing success.
However, the harsh reality of football is every player at every club ultimately has a price.
Never more so than in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic that is hitting clubs’ finances hard.
Lessons will have been learnt from the transfer saga with McKenna when the Reds rejected a £7m bid from Aston Vila late in the summer 2018 window.
McKenna was eventually sold for a far lower £3m two years later, although that can rise to £5m with achievable add-ons.
Transfers are all about timing – getting it right to land maximum cash return while also benefitting on the pitch for a sustained period from the talent.
Ramsay could be pivotal to Aberdeen’s bid for success for seasons to come.
If he continues this trajectory for a season or 18 months more, his value would sky rocket even further.
However, sometimes a club, like Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather, can come in with an offer that they can’t refuse.
Dons face competition for McGrath
Aberdeen’s bid to secure St Mirren midfielder Jamie McGrath will face fierce competition from England.
Wigan Athletic had a £300,000 bid rejected last summer and a late move from Hibs also fell through.
Middlesbrough, Peterborough and Sheffield United are all tracking him.
Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass has been a long-term admirer of McGrath and enquired about securing him in the summer transfer window.
An established Republic of Ireland international, the 25-year-old netted 17 times in all competitions last season.
That is an impressive return from midfield, and McGrath also pitched in with six assists.
He is also extremely versatile and can play central midfield, on the left, right and also in a number 10 role.
It’s no wonder McGrath is on the radar of a number of clubs.
If Aberdeen can land McGrath, either on a pre-contract or with a fee this month, it would be a major signing.
He could provide an attacking, creative outlet to fill the gap left by Ryan Hedges if, as expected, the Welsh midfielder exits.
Whether Hedges leaves in January or at the end of the season remains to be seen.
Blackburn Rovers are set to launch a fresh bid for Hedges in this window after a £400,000 offer was rejected last summer.
🏆 Congratulations Jamie McGrath! @cinchuk SPFL Goal of the Month award winner for November!
— SPFL (@spfl) December 13, 2021
McGrath could be the playmaker Aberdeen will need.
Killie title challenge for McInnes
Kilmarnock’s 28-year stay in the top flight ended last summer when losing their relegation play-off to Dundee.
The Rugby Park side have been far from convincing this season.
Ultimately Tommy Wright paid the price for that when he was axed last month.
It is now 10 months since McInnes exited Pittodrie and the 50-year-old will have to hit the ground running at Killie.
McInnes was in the frame for the West Brom, Cardiff City and Ipswich Town jobs.
A step down to the lower leagues will not be what McInnes planned as his next move.
However, Kilmarnock offer a quick route to the top flight.
Kilmarnock are only five points behind Championship leaders Arbroath and also have a game in hand on Dick Campbell’s side.
Not just promotion, but the title, are still very much achievable for McInnes.