Dons boss dismisses reports Anthony O’Connor set to move to England

Anthony O'Connor in action for Aberdeen.

Dons boss Derek McInnes today dismissed reports defender Anthony O’Connor is set to quit Pittodrie for England when his contract expires.

The 25-year-old’s deal expires at the end of the season and reports today indicated the former Burton Albion stopper would prefer a return to England next season.

McInnes confirmed he had discussions with the former Republic of Ireland U21 international stopper this morning and there was no indication he wanted to move south of the border.

The Dons boss is keen to resign O’Connor and used the recent week long warm winter break in Dubai to push forward talks on a new deal.

McInnes hopes to have confirmation on whether O’Connor will pen a new deal within the next few weeks.

McInnes today said: “We had good talks in Dubai and I talked to Anthony this morning.

“Certainly Anthony has not told me that his preference is to go back to England.

“While there is nothing concrete to talk about I don’t think we are any further away from agreeing.

“We have been positive, up front and I know Anthony really enjoys it here.

“Hopefully we can have an answer one way or another over the next few weeks.”

McInnes has bolstered his squad during the January transfer window with the addition of Niall McGinn on a deal until 2021 and the loan signing of Manchester City midfielder Chidiebere Nwakali.

Norwegian World Cup hopeful Nwakali agreed a loan deal until the end of the season from the Premier League leaders and met up with the Dons in Dubai.

He featured in the 2-0 friendly loss to Lokomotiv Tashkent in the United Arab Emirates.

However Nwakali will not face Rangers at Ibrox tomorrow as the Dons are still waiting for his work permit.

McInnes is hopeful that will arrive later this week to allow Nwakali to make his Dons debut in Saturday’s Premiership clash against Kilmarnock at Pittodrie.

He said:  “Chidiebere won’t make tomorrow but hopefully will be clear for the weekend.”