GOTHENBURG Great Jim Leighton is considering quitting football after being asked to leave the Dons for a second time.
The 56-year-old was left stunned after he was told his time as Aberdeen goalkeeping coach was over.
Leighton was axed as Dons boss Derek McInnes carried out a reshuffle of his backroom staff.
The same happened to Leighton in 2009 when he was released by fellow European Cup Winner’s cup legend Mark McGhee.
Scotland great Leighton was delighted when Craig Brown brought him back to Pittodrie a year later.
Now his second departure, after 27 years with Aberdeen as a player and coach, looks set to end Leighton’s time working in full-time football.
Leighton has worked in the game full-time since signing on with the Dons as a teenager in the seventies.
A three-time league winner with the Dons, Leighton has recently received his UEFA coaching licence which would aid any efforts to secure employment at another club.
However his business interests within Aberdeen mean it is unlikely Scotland’s most capped keeper will return to the game full-time.
Leighton and his wife own a beauty salon in the city and are about to open a bistro restaurant.
Leighton said: “I’m already looking for options outside football.
“I don’t see me asking my family to move away given the other commitments we have.”
Having amassed 91 caps, Leighton was part of the famous Aberdeen squad that lifted the European Cup Winner’s Cup and Super Cup in 1983. During a stellar Dons career, Leighton won three league titles, four Scottish Cups and a League Cup.
He followed Sir Alex Ferguson to Manchester United but eventually returned to Aberdeen where he ended his playing career in 2000.
Leighton hopes to secure goalkeeping coaching roles on a freelance basis, something he did for a spell after McGhee moved him out of Pittodrie.
He will also expand the children’s coaching school he already runs in the North-east.
Leighton admitted being asked to leave by McInnes was a shock but accepts the manager has a right to run the club as he sees fit.
“It was disappointing because I have always had a strong affection for the club. That will never change.”
Leighton has worked under Dons boss McInnes since he arrived as Pittodrie boss at the end of the 2012-13 season.
McInnes said: “I would like to thank Jim for his contribution as a member of my team since I arrived at the club.”
The Dons have said that nobody has been lined up to replace Leighton at this stage.