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Boss Stephen Glass will only sign players who can handle the pressure of playing for Aberdeen

Aberdeen have ended their interest in St Mirren midfielder Jamie McGrath.
Aberdeen have ended their interest in St Mirren midfielder Jamie McGrath.

Boss Stephen Glass insists he will only sign players who can handle the heat of being at Aberdeen.

He also says he will only move for players desperate to advance their career with a switch to Pittodrie.

Aberdeen have pulled the plug on a move for St Mirren midfielder Jamie McGrath.

The Dons had been in talks with the Republic of Ireland international and had hoped to secure the 25-year-old on a pre-contract.

However, the Reds have ended their interest in McGrath, whose preference is understood to be a move to England.

Aberdeen will now focus on other transfer targets for pre-contract deals and potential January moves.

Glass insists any new addition must be enthused by the prospect of playing for ‘a brilliant club’.

Jamie McGrath in action for Republic of Ireland, October 2021.

Glass said: “We want players that want to come play for Aberdeen.

“There is a pressure that is attached to playing here at this club.

“We are hoping that the targets we go for can see what we offer them for their careers.

“It’s a brilliant club to play for and I’m sure we will get the right people in the door.”

Keeper Zander Clark a signing target

Aberdeen had also hoped to potentially take McGrath to Pittodrie in January.

It is understood St Mirren are looking for a £350,000 fee if McGrath is to exit this month.

McGrath is out of contract at the Buddies, who tabled a new deal that would make him the highest paid player in the club’s history.

However, the midfielder, who netted 17 goals last season, has yet to sign the deal.

Glass has a policy of declining to talk about players currently at another club.

St Johnstone keeper  Zander Clark is set for talks with Aberdeen over a pre-contract move.

St Johnstone’s Zander Clark (left) blocks Aberdeen’s Ryan Hedges during the Premiership clash in Perth.

Clark’s contract expires at the end of the season and St Johnstone are resigned to losing the 29-year-old.

Glass is keen to secure Clark on a pre-contract.

However, he faces competition as a number of clubs are tracking the keeper, who was pivotal to St Johnstone’s winning the League Cup and Scottish Cup double last season.

Aberdeen have contacted Peterborough United to enquire about midfielder Ryan Broom, who is currently on loan at Plymouth Argyle.

The Dons have also been linked with Gillingham centre-back Jack Tucker.

Glass said: “We have targets we are looking at whether that be for this month or the summer.

“We need to make sure anything we bring in will strengthen and we talk about that continually.

“It’s important that we are in a position where we are not doing anything panicked last minute either.

“It is all targeted.”

No bids for Calvin Ramsay… yet

Aberdeen are also primed for interest and potential bids for players during the January window.

Teenage full-back Calvin Ramsay is on the radar of a host of English top-flight clubs.

Premier League Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Leicester City, West Ham and Watford are all interested in the 18-year-old.

Calvin Ramsay during training as Aberdeen prepare to face Rangers.

Italian Serie A side Bologna and Eintracht Frankfurt of the German Bundesliga are also in the race to sign the right-back.

Although there have been enquiries from clubs, there has been no bid yet for Ramsay.

Glass said: “It’s the same situation with Calvin as it was previously.

“I don’t know if that will kick up now that the games have started again – obviously a high profile one like Rangers.

“We are in control of the situation.

“If nothing happens, nothing happens and our squad will be strong for the second half of the season.”

‘Surprise’ at no contact for Hedges

There has also been no development with Ryan Hedges, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Aberdeen offered Hedges a lucrative new deal, but he has not signed it.

The 26-year-old is expected to exit Pittodrie, either this month or in the summer.

Attacker Ryan Hedges during an Aberdeen training session in preparation for the game against Rangers.

Blackburn Rovers had a bid of £400,000 for Hedges rejected in the summer transfer window.

Blackburn are keen on securing the Welsh international on a pre-contract.

Glass said: “It is the exact same situation as in we have had zero contact from any club asking to talk to Ryan, which is surprising.”

Delight at return of supporters

Meanwhile, Aberdeen will host Premiership leaders Rangers in the first game back after the top flight’s winter break.

Glass is delighted the Red Army will also be back in force for the Pittodrie clash.

Aberdeen’s last game, a 2-1 defeat of Dundee on Boxing Day, was played in front of just 500 supporters due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Premiership clubs voted in favour of moving the winter break forward in response to the restriction on crowd numbers.

Only 500 fans were allowed inside Pittodrie for the 2-1 defeat of Dundee.

Those restrictions were lifted by the Scottish Government at the start of this week.

Glass said: “I think it shows the decision to alter the break has proved correct.

“Obviously there was a big clamour to get people in.

“We were all disappointed that we played on Boxing Day without fans.

“But for the greater good, it looks as though it’s worked out.

“If you were going to play with no fans, or a near enough full house against Rangers at Pittodrie, then of course you’d rather play with a crowd.”

Marley Watkins out of Rangers game

Aberdeen will be without attacker Marley Watkins for the Rangers match.

Welsh international Watkins, 30, suffered a foot injury in the Boxing Day defeat of Dundee.

Marley Watkins goes off injured against Dundee on Boxing Day.

Glass said: “Marley’s not made it.”

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