Pittodrie great Brian Irvine believes Aberdeen should have USA based Indy Eleven coach Martin Rennie on their radar in the hunt for a new manager.
The hunt is on for a successor to Derek McInnes who exited Aberdeen along with assistant Tony Docherty by mutual consent on Monday.
Atlanta United 2 coach Steven Glass, the former Aberdeen and Newcastle United winger, is the early front-runners for the position.
Aberdeen entered into a strategic partnership with Atlanta United in November 2019.
It is understood the Dons could go down the route popular in the USA of a director of football with a head coach.
Irvine insists if Aberdeen are looking towards the States they should not rule out Scottish coach Rennie, 45, who is making waves across the Atlantic.
He said: “Martin Rennie definitely has the credentials to manage Aberdeen and do well.
“He has had a very successful managerial career and is doing very well in the United States.
“I have high regard for the way he works from the youth set up all the way to the first team.
“Martin has a great footballing knowledge and knows how to get the best out of players.
“It is a scenario similar to Jose Mourinho in that he didn’t have a real history as a player but has been highly successful as a manager.”
Pittodrie great Irvine made more than 300 appearances for the Reds and famously netted the winning penalty in the 1990 Scottish Cup final shoot-out defeat of Celtic.
Irvine has previously worked as No.2 to Rennie at Carolina Railhawks in the States and in South Korea with Seoul E-Land.
Indy Eleven play in the USL, the second tier of football in the States below MLS, and share the 70,000 capacity Lucas Oil Field stadium with NFL club Indianapolis Colts.
The USL season does not begin until next month.
Rennie, 45, was born in Thurso and raised in Bettyhill, a small village on the North coast of Scotland.
He began coaching in the United States in 2005.
Irvine said: “Martin has a good head for how a club works in terms of infrastructure – but more importantly he has a good head for how players work.
“Any club he has taken over be it Carolina, Cleveland or out in Korea he has done a great job.
“Martin may be an unknown name to many of the Scottish public but he is a fully qualified UEFA licence holder.
“He has always been successful and his win ratio is high throughout his career.
“There are four players at Indianapolis that have been fixed up with MLS contracts.
“Basically Martin has got almost half his team to the standard they are signing for the MLS.
“For me has everything it takes.”
In his first full season at Vancouver Whitecaps Rennie guided the side to the play-offs.
He became the first coach to lead a Canadian club to the MLS post-season stages.
Rennie also took Dons coach Barry Robson to Vancouver.
Former Aberdeen, Celtic and Dundee United midfielder Robson is currently in interim charge of the Dons first team with Paul Sheerin and Neil Simpson until a new manager is appointed.
Ultimately McInnes’ eight year tenure at Pittodrie was terminated due to a return of just 11 points from 39 in 2021, with just one goal in the last nine games.
Irvine insists Rennie remains clued up about Scottish football despite being based in the States.
He said: “Martin understands the game in Scotland.
“He lives for football.
“When we were out in Korea we were following the Scottish game as regularly as if we were back home.
“No-one has been at games over the last year due to Covid but that doesn’t stop you following the football.”
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack, who is based in Atlanta, and the Dons board have already started collating potential candidates for the post.
It is understood Atlanta United 2 coach Glass has already been discussed at board level.
It was Rennie who first brought Glass out to the States when he signed him for Carolina Railhawks in 2010.
Irvine reckons McInnes’ replacement must deliver trophies to Pittodrie, with the League Cup secured in 2014 the only silverware since the 1995 League Cup – where Glass was named man of the match in the final.
He said: “The Scottish Cup or League cup has to be the realistic target for the new manager initially.
“Coming in to say you are going to win the league in the next season.
“That is not something you can come in and claim to do over night.
“Even Steven Gerrard took three years to win the Premiership at Rangers.”
Irvine admits in the modern game eight years is a long tenure for a football manager.
McInnes was the second longest serving manager in Scottish senior football.
However, despite the recent slump in form, Irvine was still shocked at his exit.
He said: “Sometimes managers have a shelf life and eight years is a long time for someone to be at the helm of a club.
“However when Derek left it still came as a shock.
“There is still the chance to go for third place this season.
“I wouldn’t say anything bad about Derek’s time at the club because he had a great eight years.
“McInnes brought Aberdeen from the lower levels of the league when he took over to regularly challenging at the top and for trophies.
“The only thing he didn’t manage was to deliver another trophy after the League Cup in 2014.
“He deserves total credit for what he has done for the club.”