Aberdeen manager McInnes hopes to extend loan deals for Christie and Stewart

Aberdeen's Ryan Christie.

Dons boss Derek McInnes today confirmed he wants to extend the deals for loan stars Ryan Christie and Greg Stewart.

Celtic’s Scotland international Christie and Birmingham attacker Stewart are both on loan at Pittodrie until the end of the season.

Both have been first-team regulars and McInnes, who is with the Dons at a training camp in Dubai, is keen to have them at the club next season as well.

McInnes admits it is far too early to determine if that could be another loan deal or a permanent contract.

Both Christie and Stewart are contracted to their parent clubs until summer 2019.

While in Dubai, McInnes moved to take in another loan signing with defensive midfielder Chidi Nwakali, pictured, joining from Manchester City until the end of the season.

McInnes said: “I am enjoying working with both Ryan and Greg, so if there were any encouragement or opportunity to extend that working period with them it is something I would always be keen on.”

When asked if there could be the potential for a permanent deal, McInnes said: “It is too early to say that.

“The agreement with both Birmingham and Celtic was for the rest of the season.”

Celtic are also out in Dubai for a training camp but McInnes is unlikely to use that proximity to try to extend Christie’s deal.

“It is not a conversation I am expecting to have at this moment,” he said.

Christie returned to Aberdeen last summer having had a successful loan spell in the second half of last season.

McInnes had tried to secure his return on a permanent deal but Celtic would not sanction the move.

Under the terms of his loan deal Christie is ineligible to face his parent club and has sat out both games against the league leaders this season.

Stewart and Christie are both set to face Uzbekistan side Lokomotiv Tashkent in a friendly at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence on Sunday.

McInnes is happy with his squad size but has confirmed he may add further signings before the January transfer window closes – but only if the right player becomes available.

To accommodate any new addition he will have to be flexible and that could involve a player going out on loan.

The move of summer signing Greg Tansey to Ross County on loan until the end of the season on the eve of jetting out to Dubai freed up wages to secure Nwakali from Premiership leaders Manchester City.

In the summer, McInnes outlaid £400,000 to sign Stevie May from Preston North End and £150,000 to land Gary Mackay-Steven from Celtic.

McInnes has already completed the return of Niall McGinn this window on a long-term deal until 2021 as well as the loan addition of Nigerian World Cup 2018 hopeful Nwakali.

And the Dons boss revealed he has no cash to splash in the winter transfer window.

He said: “There seems to be this thought that there’s money to spend, but there isn’t.

“We re-invested the money we got for Jonny Hayes and Jayden Stockley.

“We got £100,000 for Stockley (signed to Exeter) and good money (£1.3 million from Celtic) for Jonny and tried to reinvest that back into the team by being able to re-sign players and bring others to the club.

“But there’s no money to spend, so I’ll try to be as creative as I can.”

Aberdeen are now into their third day of the warm weather training camp in Dubai.

They will train again tomorrow before facing Lokomotiv who are set to play four friendly matches in the Middle East.

The Railroaders will also face a United Arab Emirates side yet to be confirmed as well as Russian sides Rubin and Krasnodar who are also out here at training camps.

Following the success of the trip to Dubai last January, the Dons gaffer jumped at the chance to return.

He said: “We were really keen to come back out, such were the benefits last year.

“I felt we more than most were really glad of the winter break.

“To actually get the facility we have here and the weather, and the kick-back we got from it, was really good.

“It was our strongest finish to a campaign.

“I think there were a few reasons for that but the break definitely helped.”

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