Aberdeen were today remaining tight-lipped over reports Rangers have formally notified the club of their intention to open signing talks with captain Ryan Jack.
Midfielder Jack is out of contract at the end of the season and has been free to talk to any interested clubs since January 1.
Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha recently confirmed Jack, 25, is one of his summer signing targets.When contacted today Aberdeen FC would not comment on reports Rangers have informed the club they plan to hold signing talks with Jack.
Dons boss Derek McInnes claimed this week that Jack has no interest in signing for Rangers and if he is to exit Pittodrie in the summer it would likely be to England.
McInnes said: “Ryan says he will be looking to go to England if he chooses to leave.
“I can only take Ryan at his word on that.”
Pittodrie sources claim there has been no notification yet from Rangers regarding the 25-year-old who is also targeted by MLS side Columbus Crew.Caixinha will have a £13m summer transfer chest as Ibrox chairman Dave King has vowed to plough every penny of record season ticket cash into the squad.Rangers have announced they are set to smash the 35,000 mark for season ticket sales and are on course to exceed this season’s record of 43,000. That will rake in £13m.
Jack is sidelined after groin surgery and faces a battle to be fit for the Scottish Cup final against Celtic at Hampden on May 27.
Meanwhile McInnes has leapt to the defence of striker Jayden Stockley, who was sent off in the long-awaited 2-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox.
Stockley was booked twice inside the last five minutes and McInnes feels the Englishman was treated harshly by referee John Beaton.
“Jayden was distraught in the dressing room afterwards,” he said.
“I thought the first one might have been a booking, but the second one wasn’t.
“It was an easy thing to do as he had just been booked, we’ve had that with Jayden before, when we played Maribor.”
McInnes feels the fact Rangers went with two teenage centre-backs – David Bates and Aidan Williams – didn’t help Stockley.
“Young defenders don’t know how to defend themselves properly when they compete for high balls,” said McInnes.
“They were very brave but left themselves open to a bit of contact.
“If I’ve seen it as I think I did, I thought the second yellow was very harsh. It’s something we need to try to work with him about.”