Greg Leigh is set to become Aberdeen’s final signing of the transfer window as the Dons line up a deadline day deal to bring the defender back to Pittodrie.
Leigh, who spent last season on loan at the Dons from Dutch club NAC Breda, saw his time with the club cut short by a stress fracture of his shin last December.
The Dons and NAC Breda had agreed a deal to make the move permanent should Leigh’s loan spell go well, but the injury and the shutdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak resulted in the loan being cancelled.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was disappointed at seeing Leigh return to the Netherlands, but said at the time the Dons would keep tabs on the 26 year-old in the event his situation with his parent club changes.
Speaking in June, McInnes said: “I enjoyed working with Greg and in an ideal situation we would have liked to continue that work with him.
“I wouldn’t rule it out totally in the future, but at the minute we have to respect where we are as a club.
“I talked with Greg and he understands where every club is at the minute, including our own.
“Greg was a key player for us, but he is no longer our player. Unfortunately we are not in a position to make any player a contract offer at the minute.
“That may or may not change in the coming months.”
Aberdeen’s willingness to play the long game, however, is set to pay off as Leigh is set to return to Scotland to join the Dons on a short-term deal after his contract with NAC Breda was terminated by mutual consent on Saturday.
While Leigh is set to return to the club, the Dons have sent another youngster out on loan after development club player Jack MacKenzie joined Forfar for the season.
The 20 year-old defender, a product of the club’s youth academy and the SFA performance school at Hazlehead, has been on the Dons’ books since the age of nine.
He signed a new two-year deal with the club in June last year and was on the bench for Friday’s win against St Mirren.
MacKenzie is the fifth player to head out on loan and follows Miko Virtanen and Michael Ruth who have joined Arbroath, Connor Barron is at Brechin while Ethan Ross is at Raith Rovers.
The Dons are also hoping to send Mark Gallagher, a January signing from Ross County, out on loan to gain experience.