We’re in charge of situations with our out-of-contract players says Aberdeen manager McInnes

Anthony O'Connor in action for Aberdeen.

Boss Derek McInnes today insisted he is not sweating over the future of players set to go out of contract – as the Dons are in control.

Two first-team regulars – Kenny McLean and Anthony O’Connor – have their futures up in the air with contracts set to expire at the end of the season.

They have been free to talk to any interested club since the winter transfer window opened on January 1.

Icelandic international Kari Arnason also has a deal up at the end of the season but the defender recently confirmed he wants to sign a new contract at Pittodrie.

McInnes, who has the Dons out in Dubai for a warm weather training camp, does not want to lose any players in the January window.

Scotland international McLean has already indicated he will not sign a new deal and Rangers had a £300,000 bid for him rejected in the summer.

McInnes aims to use the time in the United Arab Emirates to try to tie defender O’Connor on a new contract.

The Reds gaffer said: “We are still in charge of the situations there with those players.

“I don’t want to lose any player in January, certainly the ones who are playing in the team week in, week out.”

Aberdeen’s winter trip to Dubai was rocked last year when Cardiff City came in with a £500,000 bid for winger Jonny Hayes.

That was knocked back by McInnes, pictured, while in the United Arab Emirates.

The manager does not want a repeat with an approach for any of his players while out in the Middle East for the week-long training camp. “Both Anthony and Kenny are integral to the team and have been mainstays for us this season,” McInnes said.

“I wouldn’t want to lose any of them.

“Kenny has made his intentions clear and I am absolutely fine with that.

“Both players are playing very well at the minute so what I wouldn’t want to do is anything that would detract from the team.”

Although he does not want any player to leave this month, McInnes is a realist and accepts he would have to look at any options that opened up.

“It is all about fulfilling objectives firstly for the campaign,” he said.

“But with anything else you would look at certain things if they came in for any player in January, not just those two.”

Aberdeen touched down in Dubai in the early hours of this morning and were out on the training pitch at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence later in the day.

The Reds will pack in five days of training before facing Uzbekistan league champions Lokomotiv Tashkent at the facility in a closed-doors friendly on Sunday.

That friendly is likely to mark the Reds return of Northern Ireland international winger Niall McGinn, 30, who has rejoined the club on a long-term contract until summer 2021.

Aberdeen will jet back to the Granite City next Monday ahead of the Scottish Cup fourth round clash with Championship leaders St Mirren at Pittodrie on the Saturday.

McInnes said: “After our time in Dubai last year we returned looking re-energised.

“I was really pleased with our work when we came back as we were re-focused after that break.

“Hopefully that will be the case after our time in Dubai again and we will be the team we know we can be when we come back to Aberdeen.”

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