Boss Derek McInnes has praised Kenny McLean for his role in brokering the “perfect scenario” with his transfer to Norwich City.
Scotland international McLean signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Championship Canaries.
As part of the deal the Dons will not only receive a fee of £200,0000, they will also have the use of the midfielder on loan for the rest of the season.
It is win-win for McInnes after the 25-year-old confirmed earlier this season he would not sign a new Dons deal which was set to expire in the summer.
McLean is set to start against Kilmarnock in the Premiership at Pittodrie today.
McInnes said: “It was quite refreshing in the modern day how clubs, agent and player can all work together to try to get the right deal.
“Norwich were in a position where they can pay a fee to secure a pre-contract.
“Kenny probably would have had a lot of suitors come the end of the season if he was on a free transfer.
“Norwich took an unusual step in terms of paying a fee to secure that.
“They have got Kenny on his contract but see the benefit of keeping him with us for now.
“It has worked out extremely well and it shows how deals can be done and how things can be done properly.
“Kenny has come out of this with a lot of credit.
“Both him and Norwich have helped broker this deal but in particular Kenny who was always keen to stay at Aberdeen for the rest of the season.
“Kenny felt responsible that he wanted some money for Aberdeen as well.”
McInnes tried to retain McLean but the midfielder informed him last year he would not agree new terms.
Midfielder McLean was the first player McInnes outlaid a transfer fee for when he joined from St Mirren in January 2015.
McInnes said: “The perfect scenario would have been Kenny staying but once he made his mind up in November I was keen to keep working with him.
“This is the next perfect scenario for us. Kenny has been such a brilliant signing for us and I think he will be the type of player everyone will recognise how good he is maybe when he has left.
“He has been fantastic for me from day one and I have really enjoyed working with him.
“The time for reflecting on Kenny’s career at Aberdeen isn’t now, it will be for May.”
McLean has two Scotland caps but McInnes is confident his move south of the border will push him further into the international frame.
“I’m delighted we have a player who has the security of knowing where he is going but also has the motivation to drive himself into that international set-up on a regular basis,” he said.
“And to try to drive Aberdeen towards having a successful campaign.”