Aberdeen have increased their scouting and recruitment budget in a bid to source more talent from both overseas and British leagues.
The Reds have expanded their reach to build a database on 10 different leagues in Europe.
A recent strategic partnership with American MLS side Atlanta United will also see both clubs share scouting knowledge.
The recent signing of Venezuelan international right-back Ronald Hernandez was a direct result of both the Dons’ expanded scouting network and Atlanta’s knowledge of South American players and leagues.
Aberdeen aim to utilise that route more but boss Derek McInnes insists they will still look for the best talent in Britain.
McInnes doesn’t care where talent comes from, as long as players strengthen his team.
He said: “In the recent couple of seasons we have been building a database on 10 different leagues in Europe.
“Leagues that we feel that maybe we could tap into.
“Some of these leagues are on the borders and there is a natural gap in players from those that gravitate to bigger countries.
“However, we feel we can concentrate on these markets with the data we have on the recruitment side.
“We have increased our resources and budget into recruitment and scouting over the last year or so.”
Capped for Venezuela 15 times Hernandez arrived from Norwegian side Stabaek on January transfer deadline day on a four-and-a-half year contract.
McInnes said: “Clearly we cannot have boots on the ground in all these places.
“What we can do is have our analysts and part of our scouting network concentrate on certain leagues. Different scouts and different analysts have been given different leagues to look at.
“They look after two or three leagues each and work along with head of recruitment Russ Richardson and myself to identify players and positions that we are looking at.
“It is their call as well to flag up any players that jump out at them.
“We then dig a bit deeper in terms of the contract situation and availability.
“Then myself, Russ and the staff start to look more deeply at the players and all the rest of it.
“Some get discarded very quickly for different reasons.
“Ronald was one that was flagged up to us in the summer on our system.
“He was the type of full-back we were looking to bring in.”
McInnes’ scouting network identified Venezuelan Hernandez playing for Stabaek in Norway, before their link-up with Atlanta.
However, the MLS side subsequently opened the way for the Dons to contact the South American’s agent.
Due to the link up with Atlanta, the Dons will also have access to scouting data from the South American leagues which the MLS side have focused on.
Ultimately the partnership is a two-way street as the Reds can also help Atlanta by identifying European targets.
McInnes said: “The South American leagues are an area where Atlanta have expertise and boots on the ground.”
Aberdeen may now be casting the net far and wide in the hunt for talent, but McInnes emphasised that will not be to the detriment of sourcing Scottish players. The Reds signed teenage midfielder Mark Gallagher from Ross County on a two-and-a-half-year contract in January.
Aberdeen also signed players like Kenny McLean (from St Mirren) and Graeme Shinnie (Inverness Caley Thistle) and developed them into full Scotland internationals.
McInnes said: “It doesn’t mean to say we ignore what is on our own doorstep and what has worked for us in the past.
“We did that with Shinnie, McLean and Lewis Ferguson.
“Where players come from is irrelevant – I don’t care.
“Whether it is our own academy bringing them through, other people’s academies, our own League, England or Ireland.
“We have normally worked with British and Irish players in general.”