Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is confident of beating Hearts to the signing of Matty Kennedy.
The Dons have made a contract offer to St Johnstone winger Kennedy but Hearts aim to hijack the move.
McInnes has offered a pre-contract deal to the 25-year-old for him to move to Pittodrie in the summer.
Kennedy is out of contract with St Johnstone at the end of the season and has been free to talk to any interested clubs since the transfer window opened on January 1.
St Johnstone, who also want to secure the winger on a new deal, have confirmed Hearts contacted them at the weekend to register an interest in signing Kennedy.
However, McInnes is confident Aberdeen are in pole position and that a deal can be done despite Hearts entering the race.
The Dons ended their Dubai training camp with a 1-0 defeat to Jordanian side Al Wehdat SC.
McInnes said: “We’ve made an offer to Matty and we’re confident we can get that signed.
“Until he’s signed and the medical is done we don’t want to say too much, as respectfully he’s still a St Johnstone player.
“We feel confident that we can get him agreed for the summer.”
Aberdeen called time on their warm-weather training camp with a 1-0 defeat to the Jordanian top-flight outfit.
Although Aberdeen dominated possession, they lacked a cutting edge in attack.
That was despite the return of leading scorer Sam Cosgrove, who served out a two-match suspension prior to the winter break.
The friendly match marked the debut for new signing Dylan McGeouch, who penned a two-and-a-half-year deal the day before flying out to the United Arab Emirates.
Former Sunderland midfielder McGeouch played for the first 45 minutes in Dubai before being substituted at half-time.
McInnes said: “We got Dylan started in an Aberdeen shirt and you can see how confident he is in possession.
“Dylan is a player who demands the ball, controls games and players trust him in possession.”
Aberdeen were today flying home to the Granite City.
McInnes believes a week in Dubai was the ideal preparation for the Scottish Cup tie against Dumbarton at Pittodrie on Saturday.
He said: “For us now we just need to rest up and prepare for Dumbarton.
“The game in Dubai served its purpose for us as we always felt it was going to be too long a break between the last competitive league game and the Dumbarton cup tie.
“So you are always looking for a game.
“The boys have worked extremely hard in what has been a very strong week for us.
“We worked double sessions every day except on Sunday.
“It is about getting the balance, about getting the strength back into their legs and getting them fired up again.
“Sometimes as a consequence of that you maybe lose a wee bit of the sharpness and the speed work that we will hopefully fine tune now before the weekend.
“The players look fit and obviously like any of these games you are trying to get people on the pitch so everyone gets a bit of game time.
“Obviously my priority is certain ones with the cup tie on Saturday in mind.”
Although McInnes accepts the result of a friendly bounce game is secondary, he was still frustrated to lose a sloppy goal.
That came in the first half when a slack pass allowed the Jordanians to go ahead despite the Dons dominating play.
He said: “For the vast majority of the game we were very much in charge, although we lost a poor goal which I was disappointed with.
“Some of our play was more than decent, which – considering the players had been off for a bit and what they did this week – it was a positive work-out.
“When you start making changes after an hour or so the game can become disjointed.
“By and large we have to be pleased, although even though it is a friendly you are disappointed not to win.”