Derek McInnes insists that signing Greg Tansey on a pre-contract agreement proves losing Niall McGinn isn’t the end of the world for Aberdeen.
The Pittodrie manager announced the capture of the Caley Thistle midfielder on the day he confirmed the Northern Ireland star was leaving in the summer.
Bolton, Sheffield United and Oxford United are interested in signing a player who has scored 67 goals in six seasons at Pittodrie since then manager Craig Brown brought him to the Dons.
That’s a setback for McInnes as the winger has arguably been Aberdeen’s most consistent performer during his time in charge and, with Peter Pawlett already leaving for MK Dons, and Ryan Jack and Ash Taylor also free to go in June, the manager is potentially facing a major overhaul of his squad.
McInnes admits plans for a new training ground and stadium mean there is no money to buy players but securing the services of Tansey under freedom of movement is the sort of deal that has paid off handsomely for Aberdeen in recent times. It is also reward for persistence in this case as Inverness scuppered what looked like a done deal for the midfielder on the last day of the transfer window 14 months ago and McInnes is convinced Tansey’s capture already shows he can get quality replacements.
“It’s not Armageddon” he said. “There is no sudden panic that we are not going to do well. The challenge will be to bring in good players if we are going to be losing good players but that’s the job of a manager.
“It is disappointing but it’s the reality and we have to move on. We still look to build.We have signed Greg Tansey and we are looking to bring one or two more in before the end of the season.
“Greg showed a willingness to come here the last time and it didn’t happen for loads of reasons and reasons outwith his control but we’ve now got the chance to work with him next season.
“I can’t go and buy an international player who has 51 caps but you can try to go and look for good players.
“The difference is finances always make it difficult for recruitment but we’ve always felt that we’ve recruited well. I think we are an attractive club for a lot of players.”
Brown brought McGinn, pictured, to Pittodrie after a disappointing spell at Brentford, but now the former Celtic winger is determined to have another go at making the grade down in England.
McInnes knows Aberdeen simply can’t compete with the money on offer south of the Border but insists McGinn still has plenty to achieve with his current club before he moves on in the summer.
He added:“Unfortunately the indication now from Niall and his agent is that they may have interest from the Championship. I can understand that players of a certain age get an opportunity to go elsewhere to play and earn far greater money. It’s not just about the money but that is definitely part of it.
“So we wish Niall well. He has been a brilliant servant but I don’t wish to talk about him in the past tense when we still have so much to look forward to for the rest of this season.
“We have put ourselves in a position wherein it could be a really special season for us.
“To be eight points clear of Rangers with the difference in resources also demonstrates a good season’s work. It would also be great for everybody to sign off with a cup win. I am sure that is in Niall’s thoughts.”
The timing of the announcement about Tansey’s deal could hardly have come at a worse time for Inverness Caley Thistle as they try to move away from the relegation zone.
Part of that challenge will be trying to take points at Pittodrie on Tuesday, when McInnes’s side are going for a tenth home win on the bounce but Graeme Shinnie, one of the already impressive list of ex-Inverness players at Aberdeen reckons his former team shouldn’t have any concerns about Tansey’s contribution. After all, he was in a similar situation after agreeing a pre-contract deal with the Dons when still at the Highland club and that didn’t stop him going on to captain them to Scottish Cup success in his farewell appearance.
His only concern about Tansey’s move is finding a new tenant as the midfielder is currently renting Shinnie’s house in Inverness but he has no worries about his former and future team-mate’s commitment for the remainder of the season.
“I will need to text him to make sure he has cleaned the house and check for any damage,” joked Shinnie. “I will take his signing-on fee if there are any problems with the house.
“I didn’t even know if he was going to leave Inverness but I know him personally and it is not in his manner to not try as much for them. He is not that kind of player.
“He is a good professional and he will do everything in his power to get them out of the situation they are in. He will look to finish his career on a high at Inverness.
“He probably won’t be able to do what I did when I left but he has been a great servant to Inverness and has won the Scottish Cup and played in Europe.
“He has been on the journey with them and the fans and I’m sure they will give him a good send-off.
“They won’t be happy to lose him but we are definitely happy to take him.
“He is good at passing and shooting and can get about the pitch. He was someone that when I played left-back I always knew he could switch the ball across to me at any time. That was always a good thing. He will be a great addition to the squad.”
In the meantime Shinnie and Aberdeen’s priority is victory at Dens Park tonight to move 11 points clear of Rangers in second place but they will have to do it without suspended striker Jayden Stockley and Mark Reynolds who is still recovering from a hernia operation.