Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes hopes he can retain Greg Leigh despite the financial hit of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The full-back was secured on a season-long loan deal until this summer from Dutch second tier side NAC Breda.
Aberdeen had an option where they had first refusal to buy Leigh written into the loan deal.
A fee was also agreed in principle for a permanent deal for Leigh, who has a year left on his NAC Breda contract.
Left-back Leigh, 25, impressed during his loan spell with 23 starts until suffering a fractured tibia in a 1-0 defeat of Hamilon on December 14.
That was Leigh’s last Dons appearance as Scottish football went into shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 13.
Now back to full fitness McInnes hopes to find a way to secure Leigh for next season but admits that will remain up in the air for now due to Covid-19.
McInnes said: “Greg is fit.
“If there is any way we can find a way to try and keep Greg with us next season then that would be great.
“At the minute though it is still all a wee bit unclear.”
NAC Breda recently confirmed its player budget and squad size would be cut next season in reaction to financial losses incurred by the Covid-19 crisis.
To cut costs, NAC Breda technical manager Tom Van Den Abbeele recently confirmed they would consider a loan deal for Leigh this summer as well as a permanent move away.
Leigh was snapped up last summer from NAC Breda and made a scoring debut in the 5-0 Europa League second qualifying round second leg defeat of Chikhura Sachkhere.
His long-term injury was one of a number of blows to McInnes’ defence last season with Ash Taylor suffering a torn hamstring in the first leg against the Georgians that ruled him out for nearly four months of action.
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Scotland centre-back Scott McKenna was also ruled out for the rest of the season, having suffered a hamstring tear in the 2-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat on February 29.
Aberdeen today received a fitness boost with McKenna ready to return to training after three months out.
McInnes is targeting a resumption of training from the Covid-19 shutdown on June 10.
He confirmed Scotland McKenna will start working with his team-mates when the Reds return.
McInnes said: “Scott will be there or thereabouts.
“By now we would be hoping to get him introduced to doing some ball work.
“However, it will difficult because we will only be able to do certain work with him.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that from today Scotland will move to Phase 1 of easing lockdown restrictions.
The SPFL and SFA were today set to meet Scotland’s Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing minister Joe Fitzpatrick.
Scottish football officials will push for a return to training on June 10 when the current shutdown of Scottish football at all levels officially ends.
Winger Matty Kennedy may be a short-term doubt for a return having picked up an ankle injury.
McInnes said: “Matty had a little ankle issue going on with some of the work he has been doing. He might take a week or two with the physios, but there is nothing sinister there.
“We would imagine that the full squad would be able to return as they have all been doing their work.
“Obviously we have not had the chance to see them in the flesh at the minute.
“However, we would have to assume the majority, if not all, including Scott McKenna, will be ready to do the necessary work in June.”
After almost two months of isolated full training in lockdown, McInnes put his squad on a close-season programme in anticipation of a June return.
He accepts even when they do return to Cormack Park players will be working individually or in small groups.
He said: “Everyone is ticking away on their own programme at the minute.
“We put them on more of a close-season programme and left them to it with the emphasis being on the 10th or 11th June.
“When we go back I think we will be restricted in what we will be able to do.
“But at least we will be able to have eyes on the players and be able to talk to them.
“We will be able to get them moving again.”