Aberdeen: Talks are un­der way with mid­fielder McLean and de­fender O’Con­nor

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANNY LAW

Aberdeen man­ager Derek McInnes says the club has be­gun talks on a new deal with Rangers mid­field tar­get Kenny McLean.

The Ibrox side had a £300,000 bid re­jected in June for the for­mer St Mir­ren player, who has en­tered the fi­nal year of his con­tract and will be free to sign a pre-con­tract agree­ment with an­other club in Jan­uary.

Ir­ish cen­tral de­fender An­thony O’Con­nor is also in the fi­nal 12 months of his deal and McInnes says the club is keen to agree ex­ten­sions with both play­ers.

He said: “We have spo­ken to Kenny and An­thony, who are out of con­tract as well as one or two of the younger ones.

“Th­ese things can take a bit longer but we are in dis­cus­sions. I’m sure we will try to find a way to make both hap­pen if pos­si­ble.

“If we can’t then we will deal with it and move on.”

Ryan Jack, Niall McGinn, Peter Pawlett and Ash Tay­lor all left Pit­to­drie as free agents at the end of last sea­son.

McInnes said: “Ev­ery one of them ex­cept Peter and Niall gave us ev­ery en­cour­age­ment in Jan­uary they still wanted to be here.

“If play­ers tell you they don’t want to sign then that is dif­fer­ent. I thought we did all we could. I don’t think we would have done any­thing dif­fer­ently.”

McInnes, mean­while, ad­mit­ted he was frus­trated to see his side’s con­querors Apol­lon Li­mas­sol be­gin their Europa League group stage cam­paign against French side Lyon last night.

The Dons were beaten 3-2 on ag­gre­gate by the Cypri­ots. He said: “I felt we should have beaten Li­mas­sol. See­ing them in the Europa League height­ens the frus­tra­tions. But it shows me we are get­ting closer to re­al­is­ing that am­bi­tion of play­ing in the group stages. It would have made a dif­fer­ence if our team had been a bit more set­tled go­ing into those games.

“Apol­lon Li­mas­sol have qual­i­fied for the group stages three times out of the last five. We have no divine right to beat th­ese teams but I still felt we missed an opportunity.”

The Dons are likely to be with­out Gary Mackay-Steven for to­mor­row’s meet­ing with Kil­marnock at Pit­to­drie.

The for­mer Celtic player is a doubt af­ter in­jur­ing his an­kle in train­ing yes­ter­day.

Mid­fielder Greg Tansey is also un­likely to fea­ture due to a groin in­jury.

“I’m sure we will try to find a way to make both hap­pen”

SEC­ONDS OUT: Alexis Sanchez cel­e­brates scor­ing Ar­se­nal’s sec­ond goal against Cologne last night

An­thony O’Con­nor

Kenny McLean

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