Derek McInnes in race for signings ahead of tonight’s Europa League tie deadline

Gary Mackay-Steven.
Gary Mackay-Steven.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was today confident his new look Dons will be ready for NK Siroki Brijeg in Europe.

McInnes has reshaped his squad this summer and has not finished his rebuilding.

The Pittodrie gaffer was today attempting to secure another addition before the 7.45pm deadline to register one wild-card signing for the Euro tie, 24 hours before kick-off.

The Dons have opened up talks with Celtic in a bid to secure winger Gary Mackay-Steven on a permanent contract.

McInnes had hoped to secure the 26-year-old before the deadline but as negotiations stand a quick-fire deal is unlikely.

Sheffield United had been keen on securing the winger but Aberdeen are now in pole position to land the Scotland cap.

Any move for Mackay-Steven would have to be permanent as the Dons already have Ryan Christie on a season-long loan from Celtic.

SPFL rules state a club cannot loan two players to the same club in the same division.

The Dons have also had a £400,000 bid rejected for Motherwell striker Louis Moult who has a year left on his deal with the Steelmen.

Motherwell are ready to fight to keep their leading scorer and have offered the 25-year-old a contract extension.

McInnes has already secured three new signings in addition to Celtic’s Christie.

Former Inverness midfielder Greg Tansey signed a three-year deal while attacker Greg Stewart joined on a season-long loan from Birmingham City.

Former West Ham and MK Dons striker Nicky Maynard signed a one-year deal on Friday, before the Uefa deadline to register players for the Europa League second round expired.

Aberdeen have had a congested pre-season and some of the signings have had less time to prepare for Europe.

But McInnes reckons the Reds will be ready.

He said: “This season more than any other there has been work to get done in terms of securing new signings.

“We had a settled squad for the majority of the last four years.

“We’ve been busy all summer, trying to get signings in place.

“We’ve lost a few key players and we might not always get like-for-like but it’s our job to make sure those we bring in can handle the demands of being successful.

“It’s the first time since my first season in charge that there’s been a stress on recruitment.

“However, it is our responsibility regardless of that to be as ready as we can for the European tie.”

McInnes also remains hopeful of signing Shaun Maloney on a two-year contract. Maloney had agreed to join the Reds but the deal was put on hold because the Scotland cap flagged up an injury concern. That will be investigated further before a deal is signed.

McInnes had hoped to have Maloney’s experience in his squad for the Euro opener after losing Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn.

Due to the short pre-season and condensed preparation Mcinnes has admitted the Reds will not be firing on all cylinders yet.

However, he is confident there remains enough Euro experience within his squad to progress.

“We still have a lot of the players who have had the experience of playing in Europe in the last few years and hopefully that helps,” he said.

“We have to deliver a performance to get through the tie and we will get better and stronger as we go along.

“But first things first, we have to get through this tie.”

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