Dons in Cork: Aberdeen boss McInnes still looking for signings

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.


Picture by Scott Baxter    17/05/2019
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture by Scott Baxter 17/05/2019

Boss Derek McInnes is confident his summer signing spree has rebuilt the Dons for Europe – but he is not finished yet.

Following an exodus of players after last season McInnes faced his biggest rebuilding job.

He is happy with his signings so far.

However, the Dons boss confirmed he is still in the hunt for more additions, with a midfielder a priority before the Euro tie with RoPS Rovaniemi.

Aberdeen face Finnish side RoPS in the Europa League first qualifying round first leg at Pittodrie on July 11.

McInnes said: “All the signings that we have brought in bring so much to us.

“We have signed players with real experience such as Craig Bryson and also players with real potential.

“We have signed some players who know the league and also players who know the club.

“So we feel we have done some good work.

“I am happy with the players we have signed because they bring so much to us.

“However, we are keen to bring in another midfielder.

“We want to do as well as we can in Europe and if we can get those signings in we will all feel a bit more comfortable with it.”

In the busiest transfer window of his six years at Pittodrie McInnes has added four permanent signings and two loan players.

“We want to do as well as we can in Europe and if we can get those signings in we will all feel a bit more comfortable with it.”

In the busiest transfer window of his six years at Pittodrie McInnes has added four permanent signings and two loan players.

Arriving on permanent deals were Craig Bryson (Derby County), Curtis Main (Motherwell), Ash Taylor (Northampton) and Ryan Hedges (Barnsley).

McInnes has also completed loan deals for Jon Gallagher (Atlanta United) and Greg Leigh (NAC Breda).

However, midfielder Stephen Gleeson looks set to miss the start of the season against RoPS due to a knee injury which requires an operation.

The Dons boss wanted to secure a left-back ahead of the UEFA transfer registration deadline for the Europa League first qualifying round.

He was keen to secure the return of Derby County left-back Max Lowe following his successful season at Pittodrie.

However, the pursuit of Lowe would have extended beyond the European opener due to the managerial situation at Pride Park.

Chelsea have been given permission by Derby to talk to manager Frank Lampard about becoming their new boss.

Aberdeen’s McInnes had a strong relationship with Lampard and successfully engineered Lowe’s return for a second loan spell in January for the second half of last season.

McInnes also secured Scotland international midfielder Bryson from Derby on a two-year deal this summer.

Former Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie also exited Pittodrie for the Rams this summer on a three-year deal.

Celtic have joined the fight to land Lowe as Arsenal get set to launch an improved bid for £25 million-rated Scotland international left-back Kieran Tierney.

The Hoops have held initial talks with Derby regarding Lowe and Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has also enquired about the availability of the 22-year-old.

McInnes moved quickly to secure former Manchester United trainee Leigh from Dutch side Breda on loan for the season.

© Aberdeen FC
Aberdeen’s new signing Greg Leigh

McInnes said: “We were keen to try to get one or two more in before the European deadline to make sure we are fully prepared.

“The obvious one was left-back but we are looking at two or three different positions.

“We are also keen to bring in another midfielder.”

Currently putting the Dons through their paces at a training camp in Cork, Republic of Ireland, McInnes has also been working hard to secure signings.

All his additions this summer have been in the free agent or loan market.

He admits not all can be of the level of Scotland international Bryson who knocked back a new deal at Derby to sign a two-year contract at Aberdeen.

The manager said: “We have worked hard to bring in signings and we don’t have the monies that others have to throw at it.

“We need to stress that we are working really hard to bring players in, who won’t cost money. And that is difficult.

“So we work hard to get good players in who can help us with what is ahead of us.

“I think sometimes people think we should be signing certain players.

“However, it is not easy signing players.

“Not every signing can be a Craig Bryson, on that level.

“You look at the out-of-contract list and you think you wouldn’t mind this one or that one but the reality is you don’t get them all.

“People only get to hear about the players you do get, but there is a lot of painstaking work that goes on with very little reward at the end of it.

“It is really difficult signing players. Players at the level we want.

“We have managed to be successful on a few occasions.”

New signing Leigh travelled to the Fota Island training camp in Cork to sign his loan deal and begin work with his new team-mates.

Despite the six new signings McInnes has still had to reinforce his squad with youngsters for training in Cork.

He said: “The squad is tight and we are running with a few of the younger ones who have come out to Ireland with us.”

Breaking