Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin has confirmed he wants to land Wolves midfielder Connor Ronan as part of his summer rebuild.
However, Goodwin accepts the Dons face fierce competition from clubs across Europe to secure the 24-year-old.
Dons gaffer Goodwin hopes his connection with Ronan can help sway the midfielder towards a Pittodrie move.
Goodwin managed Ronan at St Mirren this season before taking over the Dons in mid-February.
Scottish rivals Hearts and Hibs are also keen on securing Ronan this summer.
German Bundesliga 2 side St Pauli are tracking the midfielder, too.
Ronan is contracted to English Premier League Wolves until summer 2024.
Goodwin said: “I know there is a lot of interest in Connor, but he is the type of quality we want to add in the summer. Whether we can get him or not remains to be seen.
“He has lots of clubs in Scotland, England and abroad after him.
“Connor is a player I really admire. Players of that quality are on our radar.”
Two years remaining on Wolves deal
Ronan has two years remaining on his contract at Wolves and has been sent out on loan to six different clubs.
The midfielder has played 14 times for the Premier League outfit.
He has had loan spells at Grasshoppers (Switzerland, 2020-21), Blackpool (2020) and FC DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda (Hungary, 2019-20).
Ronan has also been on loan at Walsall (2018) and Plymouth (2017-18).
The midfielder enjoyed a successful loan spell at St Mirren this term, netting eight times in 30 appearances, and was recently named St Mirren’s Player of the Year and also scooped the goal of the year award.
Three of Ronan’s eight goals this season have been against Aberdeen.
He netted twice in a 3-2 Premiership defeat of the Dons in Paisley on September 26.
Ronan then scored the winner in a 1-0 home defeat of Aberdeen on January 25.
The midfielder will not face Aberdeen on Sunday in the final game of the Premiership season. He returned to parent club Wolves last week as a precautionary measure to recover from an ankle issue.
Ronan is set to be fully fit for the start of the new season.
Goodwin said: “He won all the Player of the Year awards at St Mirren.
“He has been a great find for St Mirren and he was their star man throughout the campaign.”
‘We had a great working relationship’
Goodwin brought Ronan to St Mirren last summer and managed him for eight months before moving to Aberdeen.
He insists he had a ‘great working relationship’ with the midfielder.
Asked if he thought that relationship could be a strong selling point in the bid to secure the midfielder Goodwin said: “I hope so.
“We had a great working relationship.
“We had good conversations with his agent in the build up to him coming to St Mirren.
“I reassured him that he would get game time and we would help him with his development. That if he done well with St Mirren, he would get into Stephen Kenny’s plans for the (Republic of Ireland) national team.
— St Mirren FC (@saintmirrenfc) May 1, 2022
“He did that.
“He was on one of the trips (friendly with Belgium and Lithuania) recently.
“Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get a senior cap.
“I have a history of doing that in terms of what was done with (Jamie) McGrath and one or two others.
“Hopefully that will all stand us in good stead.
“But Connor is a Wolves player at the moment and he will undoubtedly be attracting interest from other clubs as well.”
Jamie McGrath on Goodwin’s radar
Ronan was called up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad in March this year.
However, he still awaits a debut senior cap having not featured in the friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania.
Ronan has been capped 14 times at under-21 level.
Goodwin aims to secure the midfielder as part of a major summer rebuild.
He will reconstruct a team that has finished in the Premiership bottom six for the first time since 2013.
Wigan Athletic attacking midfielder Jamie McGrath is also on Goodwin’s radar.
Goodwin managed Republic of Ireland international McGrath at St Mirren before his switch to League One winners Wigan in January.
McGrath, 25, scored 17 goals for St Mirren in the 2020-21 campaign.
However, he has struggled to make an impact at Wigan and has made just three starts with another appearance off the bench.
Refusing to rule out Hladky swoop
Czech Republic stopper Hladky played under Goodwin at St Mirren until 2020.
Hladky, contracted to Ipswich until summer 2024, is reportedly willing to move on in the search for regular football.
It is understood Ipswich are open to selling Hladky during the summer window.
St Mirren’s left-sided defender Charles Dunne, 29, is also a summer target.
Dunne has another year left on his deal with the Buddies and it would take a six-figure sum to land him.
Scouring Europe for signing targets
Goodwin and his recruitment team are scouring Europe for summer signing targets.
Head of recruitment Darren Mowbray has recently been to the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia in the hunt for signings.
Aberdeen will call time on a dismal campaign on Sunday when hosting Goodwin’s former club St Mirren at Pittodrie.
For many Aberdeen players, it will be the last time they ever play for the club.
When the season ends at 1.45pm on Sunday, the summer transfer window rebuild will ramp up even further.
Goodwin said: “I have been extremely disappointed with how the campaign has fizzled out.
“I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to get a reaction out of this group.”