Stephen Glass has begun his Aberdeen clearout after announcing Ash Taylor, Tommie Hoban, Greg Leigh and Shay Logan will not be offered new deals.
Glass has been assessing his Dons squad since replacing Derek McInnes in March and he has decided the defensive quartet are no longer required.
Loanee Callum Hendry is returning to St Johnstone while Florian Kamberi and Fraser Hornby will return to their parent clubs St Gallen and Reims.
Glass said: “It is never an easy decision having to release players, many of whom have a long association with the club over a number of years but having had time to assess the squad in the latter part of the season, these decisions have been taken with our football strategy in mind, and to allow us to build a competitive first team for the season ahead.”
Taylor first made his move to the Granite City in 2014, making 126 appearances before moving to Northampton three years later. He returned in 2019 and now departs having turned out another 52 times for the Reds.
He posted on Twitter: “Thank you to everyone at Aberdeen FC for the last two years. I would’ve love to have stayed but unfortunately in football we do not always have control and situations change. Our only choice is to grow and move on.
“AFC is lucky to have some fantastic people that not only work for the club but live and breathe it. I built great relationships with many of these people, staff and players, and I wish you all the best for the future.
“After 2 spells, 5 years in total, nearly 180 games and many clean sheets along the way, I’m so proud of the club, of my time there and the amazing memories made along the way. I can’t thank you all enough.”
Former Watford centre-back Hoban and ex-NAC Breda left-back Leigh also served the club over two stints having initially moved north on loan, while Logan – a member of the club’s 2014 League Cup winning squad – departs after seven years and 276 games.
Glass has already started his rebuilding project having landed Scotland and Motherwell defender Declan Gallagher on a pre-contract.