Evening Express

Any new Celtic bid for McKenna a waste of time – Aberdeen boss McInnes

Scott McKenna.

Dons boss Derek McInnes today warned Celtic will be wasting their time launching another move for Scott McKenna.

A £3.5 million bid from the Hoops for the Scotland international defender was knocked back by the Pittodrie board last week.

The champions are understood to be considering coming in with an improved offer to test the Reds’ resolve to retain the 21-year-old.

McInnes, pictured, insists any further Celtic approach would be doomed to failure as the Dons aim to cash in on a future “big ticket” transfer to the English Premier League.

Any switch to the top flight south of the border cannot happen this summer as the English transfer window closed on August 11.

However, the Scottish window shuts on Friday and Celtic have been warned off any late move for McKenna.

McInnes said: “We have had a conversation with Celtic and it has been made clear and they have accepted that.

“I have spoken to Brendan (Rodgers, Celtic manager) and at boardroom level they have spoken.

“It is difficult to me to react to another rumour that someone is thinking about putting in another offer.

“We are not in a position where we need to sell or need to do a deal.

“We want him to be a big part for us this season and hopefully he can be exactly that.”

McKenna, who is contracted to the Dons until summer 2023, missed the 1-1 draw at Hibs through injury.

He will be out until after the international break next month having suffered a hamstring tear in the 1-1 draw with Rangers.

Celtic boss Rodgers criticised his defence after the 1-1 Europa League draw with Lithuanian side Suduva and is looking to strengthen his rearguard.

However, McInnes insists McKenna, who was being tracked by Championship Swansea this summer, will go to a higher level than the Hoops.

“McKenna’s market, for me, will be the English Premier League,” he said.

“For me he will go to the English Premier League and we will get the bigger ticket on the back of that.

“I am very confident of that.

“It is not a case of if, it is when he goes there.”

Aberdeen extended their unbeaten start to the domestic campaign to four games with a 1-1 draw at Hibs.

The Easter Road side netted an equaliser with just four minutes remaining.

Boss McInnes was left frustrated that referee Andrew Dallas failed to award the Reds a penalty in the first half for a foul by Paul Hanlon on Lewis Ferguson.

McInnes confirmed he did not discuss the incident with Dallas after the game and had no plans to.

He said: “Paul Hanlon had already been booked.

“It was a genuine attempt for the ball but the referee is in such a brilliant position so credit him for that, for getting up with the speed of play.

“But how on earth he doesn’t give that penalty – I have watched it back and there is no way Hanlon touches the ball.

“He just comes through and takes young Lewis Ferguson down.

“That is such a pivotal moment as it should have been a yellow card and a penalty kick. And two yellows make the red.

“Coming away from home at such a tough venue that would have been a huge shot in the arm for us.

“It was the wrong decision.

“Every team gets bad decisions, but if he has seen what I did on the laptop I am scratching my head to see why he cannot give a penalty.”

Aberdeen were within minutes of victory with a one-goal advantage earned by on-loan Watford defender Tommie Hoban, who returned from injury.

However, McInnes was left frustrated at the late equaliser.

He said: “When you go so close to the end of the game at a place like Easter Road and lose a goal late on there is that disappointment.

“It is a hard one to take when you come to such a difficult venue and get yourselves in front.

“We should have had enough experience and wherewithal to get the job done.”