The starting gun has been fired in the race to sign Calvin Ramsay in the January transfer window.
Italian Serie A side Bologna have launched a bid in excess of £3m to land the 18-year-old right back this month.
Ramsay produced another solid performance in Aberdeen’s professional 3-0 Scottish Cup fourth round defeat of Edinburgh City.
Whether the teen remains at Pittodrie for the fifth round tie on February 12 remains to be seen.
Bologna’s 4m Euro (£3.3m) bid could be the catalyst for a potential bidding war for the teen.
Contracted until summer 2024, Ramsay has posted more assists this season than any other teenage defender in world football.
No wonder top flight clubs across Europe are lining up to sign the teen sensation.
Clubs across Europe target Ramsay
English Premier League Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Leeds United and Southampton all sent scouts to watch Ramsay in the 1-1 draw with Rangers.
Liverpool, Newcastle United, West Ham and Watford are also interested in Ramsay.
Bologna are not the only continental club chasing the teen as German Bundesliga Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim are also in the race.
However Italian top flight Bologna are the first to show their hand with a bid, but won’t be the last this month.
Bologna’s offer of £3.3m only just breaks the club record fee of £3m received for the transfer of Scott McKenna to Nottingham Forest in September 2020.
It would surely take an offer way in advance of that club record to tempt Aberdeen to part with their prized asset.
Scottish Cup debut to hot property
The Scottish Cup can be used to map the remarkable ascent of Ramsay to the level where top teams across Europe want him in a multi-million move.
Teen star Ramsay made his first start for the Dons in the 1-0 Scottish Cup fourth round win away at Dumbarton on April 3 last year.
Even though against lower league opposition it was clear there was a special talent on show.
Ramsay’s attacking prowess, delivery, game awareness and skill made people immediately sit up and take notice.
Fast forward 10 months and now top clubs across Europe are taking notice and want to sign the teen right-back.
It is a matter of when, not if, he goes for a club record transfer fee. Whether that is in the January transfer window or not is the only question.
Dons debut for teen Connor Barron
As all the focus is on one teenage Aberdeen Academy graduate another made his first team debut in the fourth round tie with League Two Edinburgh City.
Midfielder Connor Barron was introduced at half-time, with the Dons 2-0 up, for Ross McCrorie.
The 19-year-old was recalled from a loan spell at League Two leaders Kelty Hearts earlier this month.
Barron was a regular starter for Kelty and on returning to Pittodrie signed a contract extension until summer 2024.
He is highly rated within Pittodrie and could be the next teen to make a major impact.
Barron gelled seamlessly into the Dons team.
Bigger challenges will undoubtedly lie ahead against Premiership clubs but the teen looks like he will be ready for that step up.
Lessons learnt from Raith defeat
Lessons were clearly learnt from the League Cup shock earlier this season when boss Stephen Glass made seven changes to the starting XI to face Raith Rovers.
Players were rested at Raith with a Europa Conference League play-off first leg tie against Qarabag in Azerbaijan looming just days later.
It back-fired as Aberdeen lost 2-1 – the first set back of Glass’ managerial career.
This time Glass named the same starting XI that were unfortunate only to draw 1-1 with Premiership leaders Rangers on Tuesday.
It paid off as Aberdeen dominated from the outset as the bid to win the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1990 began.
Never any threat of a cup upset
There was no drama and never a threat of a cup upset in a tie the Dons should have won by a more convincing score-line.
The Reds were denied by the woodwork three times through Funso-King Ojo, Lewis Ferguson and second half substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
Aberdeen made their intentions clear early on when Jonny Hayes fired a 25 yard drive inches wide after just 90 seconds.
An inevitable opener came in the 23rd minute when Ojo fired in a stinging 25 yard drive that was parried by keeper Brian Schwarke at the near post.
Hayes was quick to react on the loose ball and firing a low cross back along the face of goal that Ryan Hedges converted from 12 yards.
The Dons doubled their advantage in the 43rd minute when Ojo’s chipped pass released Hedges down the right side of the penalty area.
Hedges whipped in a cross to Christian Ramirez who rifled in from 10 yards.
Ferguson rattled the bar in the second half with a superb 30 yard free-kick that left the keeper stranded.
It should have been 3-0 when substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had an open goal beckoning but somehow rattled the bar from six yards to miss a glaring opportunity.
In injury time Ferguson made it 3-0 with a looping header into the far corner.