Dons boss Derek McInnes has no fears about teams coming in with summer bids for Scotland international defender Scott McKenna.
Aberdeen rejected four bids from Championship Hull City during the January transfer window with the final offer in excess of £1 million.
McKenna’s status has rocketed even higher since then as he recently captained Scotland in the 1-0 friendly defeat to World Cup-bound Mexico at the 87,000 sell-out Azteca Stadium.
It was the 21-year-old’s fourth straight international start.
McKenna also scooped the Player, Young Player and Goal of the Season gongs at the Dons’ end of season awards.
One of Scotland’s hottest prospects, McKenna also secured the SPFL goal of the season award for his 40-yard wonder strike in a 3-1 defeat of Kilmarnock.
McKenna’s form will inevitably bring further interest but McInnes reckons the Reds are in control of the situation as the defender is signed until summer 2023.
McInnes said: “The likelihood is we will get bids for Scott. Whether it is this summer, the window after that or the following summer the likelihood is there because Scott has been so good.
“You cannot worry too much about what may or may not happen.
“However, we are in a good position where we can dictate what happens with that.”
During his breakthrough season, Aberdeen twice moved to secure the long-term future of McKenna with the club.
A product of the Pittodrie youth system with his deal set to expire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, McKenna signed a contract extension last October until summer 2021.
Hull City attempted to lure McKenna in the winter window but McInnes and the Pittodrie board were adamant, and unified, that they would not sell the defender.
Even a seven-figure bid was not enough to dent that resolve.
In March this year McKenna then signed another two-year extension tying him to Pittodrie until the end of the 2022-23 season.
Since that Hull City bid was knocked back, McKenna’s reputation has increased further since January and his contract with the Reds has been extended.
His worth has surely accelerated into the multi-million price category. However, McInnes has previously indicated he wants McKenna to play between 100 to 150 games for Aberdeen and lift trophies before even contemplating a potential transfer.
McKenna called time on his first full season in the Dons first team by captaining Scotland.
McInnes is relishing the thought of watching the left-sided centre-back improve even further with Aberdeen.
He said: “The good thing from my point of view about Scott, and hopefully the fans’ point of view, is that he is sill young.
“If this is what Scott is like with still a lot to improve upon then we are going to have a hell of a player with us for the next few years.
“I am really looking forward to that.”
McKenna made his breakthrough when handed a first start in 18 months in the 1-0 Premiership defeat of Motherwell in September.
He has started every Aberdeen game but three since then – only missing those through injury and suspension.
Boss McInnes said: “Thankfully Scott has extended his contract a couple of times.
“Scott has the maturity, confidence and also the patience to remain here.
“He has the intelligence to know that he is far from the finished article.
“He knows that he will be gaining experience at Aberdeen.
“Scott will also be doing as much as he can for Aberdeen.”