Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin is confident the failure to qualify for Europe will not dent his bid to land summer signing targets.
The Dons have missed out on European action next season – for the first time since 2014.
European qualification is an added lure for signing targets to commit to a club.
Aberdeen no longer have that Euro attraction.
However, Goodwin reckons signing targets are willing to overlook the lack of Euro action to focus on the bigger picture.
The Pittodrie gaffer has opened talks with a number of signing targets already.
He insists they are understanding that the club is in a transitional phase.
Aberdeen will finish in the Premiership bottom six for the first time since 2013.
Goodwin reckons signing targets accept this season is a ‘blip’ and Aberdeen will be back on track in 2022-23.
He said: “If you are involved in European competition that would certainly be an attraction for players coming in.
“However, I do think the players we have had dialogue with up to now are very understanding of the situation.
“Prior to this year, the club have been very consistent in terms of league positioning.
“There have been half decent cup runs and regular involvement in Europe.”
Searching Europe for signing targets
Head of recruitment Darren Mowbray has recently travelled to the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia in the hunt for talent.
Goodwin aims to have the vast majority of his signings secured before the Dons’ pre-season begins in mid June.
Due to the lack of European action, the Dons’ season begins with a League Cup group tie on the weekend of July 9 and 10.
All teams suffer blips… even Manchester United
The Dons all but eradicated the danger of being dragged into a relegation play-off battle by beating Dundee 1-0 at the weekend.
Goodwin’s side are now eight points clear of the play-off spot with three games remaining.
St Johnstone currently occupy the play-off position.
The Dons boss said: “I think every team is allowed to have a blip from time to time.
“You see it all over Europe, all over the world.
“You see it down in the Premier League now with Manchester United, club that had been successful for a number of years.
“There is always a transition period at every single club.
“We are in that position right now at Aberdeen.”
Goodwin’s summer rebuild steps up
Goodwin has already began his rebuild by terminating the contracts of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Mikey Devlin.
Scotland international defender Andy Considine will also end 19 years in the first team when exiting at the end of the season.
Considine, 35, had a contract offer taken off the table after talks broke down.
A bid of £4.8m from Italian Serie A side Bologna was rejected in the January window.
Ramsay, recently named SFWA Young Player of the Year, is contracted to Pittodrie until summer 2024.
Scotland international Lewis Ferguson, contracted until summer 2024, could also exit this summer.
Aberdeen are braced for a bid from the Italians this summer.
A busy summer ahead for Goodwin
In terms of players coming in, Goodwin recently confirmed the net is being spread across Europe in the hunt for signings.
Goodwin is also keen on Wolves’ midfielder Connor Ronan.
Republic of Ireland U21 cap Ronan is on loan at St Mirren until the end of the season.
Ronan, 24, will return to his parent club at the end of the season, where he is contracted until summer 2024.
Wigan Athletic attacking midfielder Jamie McGrath is also on Goodwin’s radar.
Goodwin worked with McGrath at St Mirren before he was sold to Wigan Athletic in January.
Republic of Ireland international McGrath, 25, has struggled to command game time at Wigan.
He has made just three starts and a further substitute appearance.
McGrath scored 17 times for St Mirren last season.
Aberdeen attempted to sign the midfielder during the January transfer window, but he opted for Wigan.
Ipswich Town keeper Vaclav Hladky, 31, is also understood to be a signing target.
Czech Republic keeper Hladky has lost his starting slot at Ipswich.
The League One side are reportedly open to selling him in the summer.
Goodwin is also interested in St Mirren left-sided defender Charles Dunne.
The 29-year-old is contracted to the Paisley club until summer 2023 and it would take a six-figure sum to secure him.
A manager has to make ‘difficult’ calls
Goodwin has already informed players with no future at the club they will leave Pittodrie at the end of the season.
Goodwin said: “We had a need for things to be freshened up a bit.
“That is no disrespect to the guys who are here.
“All of them have done a great job for Aberdeen over the years.
“But there comes a time in everyone’s career when that change needs to be made.
“As a manager, I need to make those difficult decisions.
“But every single decision I make will be in the best interests of the football club.
“That is what I will continue to do.”