No new faces for Aberdeen as deadline passes but Reynolds, Wright and Anderson sent out in search of action

Aberdeen Scott Wright
Aberdeen Scott Wright

The January transfer window shut with Aberdeen unable to add a new face on deadline day and three players leaving the Dons.

Reds boss Derek McInnes had hoped he may be able to bring in another signing before the window closed at midnight, but it didn’t happen.

Meanwhile, Scott Wright (Dundee), Bruce Anderson (Dunfermline) and Mark Reynolds (Dundee United) all went out on-loan until the end of the season.

That takes the departures during the transfer window to five. Earlier in the month, midfielders Greg Tansey and Chris Forrester both had their contracts terminated.

Tansey subsequently joined St Mirren and Forrester, a £200,000 summer signing from Peterborough, has returned to his native Ireland and re-signed for St Patrick’s Athletic.

Aberdeen made two signings during the window. Left-back Max Lowe has returned on-loan from Derby after spending the first half of the campaign in the Granite City.

The Rams recalled Lowe for squad cover in December, but boss Frank Lampard bringing in Ashley Cole allowed the Dons to take Lowe back.

Attacker Greg Stewart has joined from Birmingham on loan until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old was at Pittodrie last season, but spent the first half this term at Kilmarnock, netting eight goals. The Dons edged out the Rugby Park team to land him for the rest of the campaign.

Reynolds was the last of three players to leave on deadline day as he moved to Dundee United until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old has been at Pittodrie since January 2012, but he has not featured for the Dons this season after suffering a knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Cove Rangers which required surgery.

The former Motherwell and Sheffield United player is now back to fitness and Tannadice manager Robbie Neilson will hope he can aid the Tangerines’ Championship promotion push.

McInnes said: “It’s a great opportunity for Mark to play regularly after being out for an extended period with an injury.

“He’s worked so hard to get back fit again and Mark’s really motivated to do well at a club with lots to play for this season.”

Earlier last night Wright joined Dundee on-loan until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old winger has made 18 appearances for the Dons this term, mostly off the bench, but now the Scotland Under-21 international will look for more game time at Dens Park.

Dee have struggled to create chances and score goals and boss Jim McIntyre will hope Wright can bolster his side’s attack as they battle against relegation from the Premiership.

Wright said: “I am looking forward to going down there and getting started.

“I will hopefully come back a better player for Aberdeen. The manager has said to me that is the bigger picture.

“I speak to the manager regularly and we have spoken about me going out on loan. We both came to the agreement that this is the best solution for me just now.

“It will be different as I’ve been with the club since I was a young boy, but it will be a good experience for me and all part of my football education.

“You can always improve as a footballer and I will work hard at Dundee to do that.”

Dons boss McInnes added: “I think it’s the right move for Scott at this stage and a great opportunity for him to gain experience which will be invaluable in his future Aberdeen career.

“The hope is he’ll come back to us fully equipped to deal with the demands of our team.”

Fellow youth academy graduate Anderson followed Wright in heading out on-loan as he joined Dunfermline until the end of the season.

The Pars are managed by former Aberdeen striker Stevie Crawford, who will be hoping Anderson can enhance the Fife outfit’s push for a Championship play-off spot.

Currently Dunfermline are seventh in the division and eight points adrift of fourth spot.

Anderson featured 17 times for the Dons this term, 16 of those appearances have been as a substitute.

The 20-year-old marked his Reds debut on the opening weekend of the Premiership season when he came off the bench to net a stoppage time equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Rangers at Pittodrie.

He also scored in the 2-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in November.

McInnes said: “Bruce is someone we have high hopes for. I believe this loan spell at Dunfermline is the right fit for him and will provide a real opportunity to get some first team football.

“Like Scott Wright, the ambition is for him to come back to us a better player and to be pushing for a first team place.”

One important piece of business for the Reds was holding on to Scott McKenna.

The Scotland international centre-back had been linked with a move to English Championship club Stoke City.

Earlier in the transfer window the Dons are understood to have rejected a bid of £5 million from the Potters.

Fellow Championship side Middlesbrough are also believed to have enquired about the 22-year-old.

McKenna, who is currently out with a hamstring injury sustained in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock, is also understood to have been on the radar of English Premier League side Wolves and Championship outfits West Brom and Swansea.

Reports emerged last night suggesting Stoke had come in with a fresh bid of £7m, but this proved to be wide of the mark with Aberdeen receiving no new bids.

In the summer transfer window the Dons knocked back bids of £3.5m from Celtic and then £7m from Aston Villa. Aberdeen have no need to cash in on McKenna because he is under contract until the summer of 2023.

McInnes has previously said he believes when McKenna leaves the Granite City it will be for the English Premier League.

It is also understood the Dons rejected a bid by New York City to land Gary Mackay-Steven ahead of the summer. Mackay-Steven, who is soon to be out of contract, has already been approached by the US club about signing a pre-contract.