Aberdeen hope for signing today ahead of Uefa Europa League deadline

Louis Moult.
Louis Moult.

Aberdeen are today aiming to secure a signing before Uefa’s registration deadline for the Europa League closes at midnight.

Boss Derek McInnes wants to bolster his attacking options for the second qualifying round clash against NK Siroki Brijeg.

As the hunt for players hots up, Aberdeen remain confident of securing Shaun Maloney despite the Scotland cap’s deal being put on hold as he requires a hernia operation that will rule him out for the start of the season.

However, Aberdeen, who beat Arbroath 3-1 in a friendly last night, could lose out in their bid to sign Preston striker Stevie May. If their bid for May fails, it is understood the Reds will turn their attention towards Motherwell striker Louis Moult.Moult, 25, has a year left on his Motherwell deal and has been offered a new contract.The Steelmen would hold out for about £500,000 for the striker, who netted 18 times last season.

The Reds also today refused to rule out the possibility of moving for Kari Arnason to bring the Icelandic international back to Pittodrie this summer. Aberdeen have until midnight tonight to register any new signing for the tie with Bosnians Siroki Brijeg. However, one signing can still be registered after that Uefa deadline until midnight on Wednesday.

Asked if the Dons aim to have a signing by tonight’s deadline, assistant Tony Docherty said: “We are hopeful and we are working on a couple of things.

“The manager and Russ Richardson (head scout) are busy on that at the moment and hopefully we will have something on that side.

“We are very diligent in the work that we do and make sure there are specific targets. “People who come into what is already a fantastic squad need to complement it.”

Docherty confirmed the bid to secure Maloney is still alive despite the attacker’s injury.

He said: “We are monitoring that at the moment. Unfortunately Shaun wasn’t in a position where he would be able to start the season.

“We are still hopeful we can get work done with Shaun because he will be an asset to us.

“It is ongoing and we still hope to have him at the club.”

Aberdeen have had bids of £300,000 and £250,000 rejected by Preston for May.

Their move for the 24-year-old could be in jeopardy as new Preston boss Alex Neil managed May at Hamilton. Neil is keen to retain the striker.

Neil said: “Stevie went on a run of scoring 11 goals in six games for me – if he can replicate anything near it, we will be doing alright.

“He has had a tough time so what we have got to do is rebuild his confidence. There is no question that he is a talented lad and I think he has a lot to offer.”

McInnes had indicated he has a Plan B if he does not land May. That could be Moult.

Docherty would not comment directly on Moult, but accepted the new Preston manager has altered the landscape.

Docherty said: “That is something that we will need to monitor as obviously a new manager has come in there (at Preston) which changes things a little bit.

“But we are still on top of that.”

Icelandic international Arnason, who played for the Dons during 2011/12, recently admitted to the Evening Express he wants to return to Pittodrie.

The 34-year-old is currently at Cypriot club AC Omonia Nicosia.

Asked if the Reds were interested in Arnason, Docherty said: “Not at the moment. You will find we are linked with a lot of players, but we know what we are working on and who we are working with.

“We will continue to work that way until we get them in”