Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is convinced Dons midfielder Lewis Ferguson is ready to make the move to the English Premier League.
The 21-year-old handed in a transfer request earlier this month after the club turned down a bid from newly-promoted Watford.
Newcastle United are also understood to be keen on Ferguson, who has been repeatedly linked with a move to Scottish Premiership rivals Rangers.
McInnes, however, believes Ferguson is capable of plying his trade in England’s top flight.
He told the Mail on Sunday: “Lewis has been good for Aberdeen and Aberdeen have been good for Lewis.
“But sometimes players are looking for something more. It happened with Kenny McLean, Ryan Jack and Graeme Shinnie.
“Lewis’ natural path is to go down to England – whether that is this year or next is up to Aberdeen to decide.
“He could play in the English Premier League now.
“He could play down in several teams I have watched down there – Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Burnley – all those teams at the bottom end of the table.
“And I think in time he will show how good he is.”
McInnes, meanwhile, has admitted he was disappointed to leave Aberdeen before the end of the season but accepted his time at Pittodrie was coming to a natural end.
The 49-year-old left the club on March 8 with the Dons appointing Stephen Glass as his successor later that month.
McInnes said: “It’s not always easy to leave on brilliant terms, I know that but it would have been nice to go out with one more trophy.
“When you see both Rangers and Celtic exit the tournament (the Scottish Cup) by the quarter-final stage it opens up.
“Prior to leaving, we felt we had a team good enough to finish third and win the cup.
“It I had chosen a way of it playing out, it would have been at the end of the season but I recognised that Aberdeen needed another manager, a new direction, and I think I needed to move on too.
“I think I had done my bit there. So professionally I saw that it was right for me to move.
“They wanted the opportunity for the new manager to come in and assess the squad and I totally get that because that is what I demanded when I first came in.
“Those six weeks when I first started allowed me to see what was already in the building and what was going to be good for us going forward.”