DONS boss Derek McInnes has reiterated that Scott McKenna will not be leaving the club in January.
Aberdeen have already knocked back two bids from Hull City this month for the 21-year-old.
But Tigers boss Nigel Adkins said the Yorkshire outfit were still keen on signing the centre-back and were considering a third bid.
But McInnes insists McKenna will not be leaving Pittodrie in this window.
He said: “Scott won’t be sold in January. I’m well aware and understand why clubs would be attracted and interested in him.
“It’s not something that there is any real appetite from us to move Scott McKenna on.”
“People are quickly aware of emerging young talent doing well. We’re on the border of the richest league in the world, and the Championship has got plenty of money going about as well.
“Clubs have got money to spend, so they are well aware of young players coming through. “There is no doubt that Scott has done well, but there is still a lot more to come from him.
“We’ll see that in an Aberdeen shirt, and when he eventually does leave Aberdeen I want it to be on the back of being successful, playing 100-150 games for us and being a full international. “I think everybody would understand that scenario, it’s too early for Scott to move.
“The important thing for Scott is to keep continuing as he is doing and improving as he goes along.”
McInnes also hopes that Kenny McLean will be with the Dons for the rest of the season.
The midfielder is out of contract in the summer and announced he will leave Pittodrie at the end of the season.
Earlier this week he was linked with a £500,000 switch to English Championship side Norwich City.
But McInnes said there has been no official approach from the Canaries.
When asked if he expected McLean to remain for the rest of the season, he said: “I’m hopeful that will be the case.
“There has been nothing official.
“We don’t want to lose any of our players, especially in January, but if there are any bids for our players we would always look at it.
“But we’re not really looking at losing any of our key players in January.”
This week the Reds have also been linked with signing Hamilton’s centre-back Michael Devlin, who is out of contract in the summer.
McInnes added: “I spoke to Martin Canning in December and the club made Hamilton aware that it was our intention to speak to Michael with him being out of contract in the summer.
“That was it, a conversation took place and there has been nothing other than that.”
Recent reports suggest winger Scott Wright may be heading to St Johnstone on loan.
But McInnes dismissed that link and said: “Scott is a player who has played a big part for us this season. “We feel Scott’s ability can have an impact on our team.”
The Dons start their Scottish Cup campaign against St Mirren at Pittodrie today.
They will be without McKenna, who is suspended, and loan signing Chidi Nwakali who still hasn’t received his work permit.
Niall McGinn and Stevie May have trained this week and are both included in the squad.
McInnes is wary of Jack Ross’ Buddies, who are eight points clear at the top of the Championship.
He said: “They are getting a lot of praise and rightly so because there has been a lot of good work done there.
“I think the last nine months in particular has been a transformation in terms of where they were in the league and where they are now. “Having watched them and taken a keener interest in them over the last few weeks, you can see why people think they are going to be a Premiership team. “Having watched them it’s difficult to argue with that – they look like a Premiership team in waiting.”
Aberdeen haven’t won the Scottish Cup since 1990, but came close last season with Celtic scoring in stoppage-time to win the final 2-1.
McInnes and his players want to get back to the Hampden final and lift the cup this time around.
He said: “We’ve been to enough semi-finals and finals over the years so we felt at home at Hampden in that game (2017 final).
“I think we got used to it and we’ve got the experience of those big occasions, cup finals and Hampden atmospheres.
“We want that again and it’s something we’ve mentioned already.
“The players who were involved that day, the staff, the supporters we must want that again and we’re hoping to get back to that sort of stage.
“We just feel we are a team that can win the trophy and it’s our intention to try to do that.
“Nobody is going to give us it – we’re going to have to work for everything.”