Aberdeen’s Adam Rooney today claimed signing Scotland international Shaun Maloney would be a major coup for the club.
Maloney, 34, has been offered a two-year deal by the Dons, but the move has reportedly stalled because of injury concerns.
Capped 47 times by Scotland the Aberdeen-raised attacker had rejected the offer of a one-year contract extension at Hull City, recently relegated from the English top flight.
Hibs were also tracking the former Aston Villa and Celtic player whose Hull deal expired at midnight on July 1.
Aberdeen were hit by the loss of key players Niall McGinn, Jonny Hayes Ryan Jack and Ash Taylor during the summer.
Rooney reckons the arrival of Maloney, coupled with already secured signings, will ensure the Dons remain a force in the new campaign.
He said: “Someone of Shaun Maloney’s calibre would be a big coup for the club.
“It would be nice to see someone like him come in.
“He has that ability whether it is through the middle or as a wide man.”
For recent proof of Maloney’s potency, Rooney reckons you only have to go back to November 2014, when Maloney netted a sublime goal in Scotland’s 1-0 victory over Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2016 Euro qualifier at Parkhead.
Rooney, 29, had been named in the preliminary Republic of Ireland squad for that clash but missed the final cut.
He said: “Everyone knows what Shaun Maloney is capable of doing.
“I still remember his goal against Ireland a couple of years back for Scotland.”
Dons boss Derek McInnes has already secured former Inverness Caley Thistle midfielder Greg Tansey on a three-year permanent deal. Birmingham City striker Greg Stewart and Celtic’s Ryan Christie have both arrived on season-long loans.
McInnes has also targeted Preston North End striker Stevie May, with a bid of £300,000 recently rejected.
The Dons boss insisted he is working on securing more additions following the loss of Hayes, McGinn, Jack, Taylor and Peter Pawlett who turned down a new deal to sign on at MK Dons.
Rooney said: “You want to keep your best players and we have lost ones of a high calibre.
“However, the gaffer and Doc (No2 Tony Docherty) have been fairly quick in their recruitment already and brought in a number of great players.
“I am sure we will look to add more numbers to that.
“It is part and parcel of football that players move on.
“We just have to make sure we can deal with that as best we can – and we have.
“With the squad we have we can hopefully improve on what we did last season.”
New signings Tansey, Stewart and Christie all started in the 3-0 friendly win over St Johnstone in Perth.
Rooney and the Dons squad are now based in St Andrews as part of a week-long training camp that will take in a game at Arbroath on Thursday.
Rooney, who scored the opener against Saints, said: “Straight away the manager has brought in more than adequate replacements for players who have left.
“Obviously, Greg Tansey was signed up on a pre-contract.
“Everyone will remember Greg Stewart from his time playing with Dundee as he was always a thorn in our side when we went against them.
“He is a more than capable replacement for some of the lads that have gone.
“It is also great to have Ryan Christie on a season-long loan as well because he showed just how good he is last term.”
Last season Rooney became the first Don since club legend Joe Harper in the 1970s to hit the 20-goal mark for three consecutive campaigns.
It took the prolific striker little more than half an hour to hit his first goal since returning for pre-season.
He said: “As a striker it is good to a goal early on in pre-season to get confidence up.
“St Johnstone was a good workout for us as a lot of the lads got an hour, and then the younger players came on.”
Aberdeen returned to training last Monday with a window of less than three weeks to get ready for the Europa League entry at the second qualifying round.
They will face the winners of the tie between FC Ordabasy of Kazakhstan and NK Siroki Brijeg of Bosnia.
NK Siroki Brijeg won the first leg 2-0 ahead of Thursday’s tie in Kazakhstan.
Rooney is confident Aberdeen will be ready for the Pittodrie tie on July 13.
He said: “Since we have come back the fitness levels have been good. I don’t think we had long enough off to lose fitness, especially over the last number of years.
“We have only had two or three weeks off at a time, so it has literally just been a rest then we come back and get going again.
“We got slightly longer this summer and everyone took two or three weeks off then spent the last 10 days getting ready for coming back.
“The fitness levels have been up on the previous years which shows the attitude of the lads.
“The players know how to look after themselves in the close season and come back ready to go in Europe.”