Aberdeen have missed out on a second raid on Premiership rivals Caley Thistle after midfielder Marley Watkins rejected the chance to join the Pittodrie club and is expected to sign for English League 1 club Barnsley today.
Dons manager Derek McInnes is in the market for an attacking wide player for next season and had believed Wales international prospect Watkins, who played most of 2015 in a forward role for Caley Jags, fitted the bill, but the player is now poised to head south to join manager Lee Johnson’s promotion-seeking side on a free transfer.
Watkins had impressed Aberdeen scouts with his performances for John Hughes’ side and McInnes believed Watkins could have provided pace and width for his team.
McInnes had given former Hearts wide midfielder Andrew Driver the opportunity to claim the berth at Pittodrie, but released the player at the end of the season after he failed to impress following his short-term deal.
Scottish Championship winners Hearts had also registered an interest in the Inverness player, who scored the first goal in his side’s 2-1 Scottish Cup final victory against Championship club Falkirk at Hampden on Saturday, while Rangers, Blackpool and Polish club Slask Wroclaw had all been following his progress.
But McInnes’ chances of fielding Watkins and his Caley Jags team-mate Graeme Shinnie, who will join the Dons for pre-season training after signing a three-year contract, have now been dashed with the 24-year-old returning to English football after two years in the Scottish Premiership.