Mark Reynolds has signed a lucrative new long-term contract with Aberdeen and is desperately hoping Derek McInnes will do the same, while the Dons’ opponents today – St Johnstone – made a signing of their own yesterday when they recruited former Hibernian, Kilmarnock and Motherwell defender Tim Clancy.
Reynolds last night agreed a deal that will keep him at Pittodrie until at least the summer of 2018. A conviction that the club stand on the verge of a period of sustained success under their current manager explains his eagerness to show such a commitment. Reynolds’ only concern about that is the fact that McInnes’s own current contract is due to run out at the end of next season.
The former Motherwell defender is well aware that the impressive job the Aberdeen manager has done so far will make McInnes an attractive prospect for bigger clubs.
Aberdeen are going for a cup double, second-place finish and a return to European football which would make it their best season in 24 years. Reynolds is certain that is just the start of what they can achieve as long as Stewart Milne and the Dons directors get their manager signed up for the long haul too. He said: “It’s great the manager wants me to be here and it shows his long-term aspirations. I would like to see the manager do likewise. He wants to do something here and create a legacy at Aberdeen. He doesn’t want this year to be a flash in the pan.
“This is a new Aberdeen that will hopefully be challenging in the league and cup for a long time to come. You only have to walk up and down the corridors and see the club’s history and we want to be part of that as well. I hope the gaffer can spend the next few years contributing to that plan.
“Speaking to him I get the feeling he wants to, but you never know what can happen in football. Things can change from day to day but he is happy here and is settled.”
Reynolds was surprised but delighted to be offered a new deal at a time when his current contract still had over three years to run.
It is reward for his form this season, which is one of the major reasons why Aberdeen have kept 17 clean sheets so far in the various competition.
Craig Brown originally signed him on loan after a move to Sheffield Wednesday turned sour and Reynolds revealed it is an experience he has no intention of repeating. He added: “As a player you want to be part of a team that is being successful – competing in the league and trying to win trophies. I can achieve that at Aberdeen. I went down to England and it didn’t work out.
“I had options to stay down there or go abroad but for me it has always been about enjoying my life away from football as well. It’s not much fun bouncing around clubs in England.”
McInnes refused to discuss his own contract situation but did make it clear that he is in no hurry to talk to those players out of contract in the summer.
Meanwhile, St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright wasted no time in drafting in defensive cover after being hit by an injury crisis. The Perth boss yesterday signed up Clancy until the end of the season and he goes straight into the squad to face Aberdeen. With Tam Scobbie already ruled out for the season, Wright received confirmation that fellow defender Frazer Wright would miss the next six weeks with ankle ligament damage. Chairman Steve Brown has dug deep to answer the SOS.
Wright said: “We had to act quickly and full marks to the chairman for finding money that wasn’t in the budget to bring in Tim. We simply couldn’t afford to go with just four defenders with so much still to play for and Tim has vast experience of the Scottish scene. We got him and Michael Spillane, who was with Cambridge, up to assess their fitness and the fact Tim has played so much football here gave him the edge.
“Tim is here to the end of the season but the incentive is there to earn another contract.”
The 29-year-old Irishman has been keeping himself fit training with Shamrock Rovers since being released by Hibs in January. He said: “I had my injury problems at Easter Road and, with the change of manager, Terry Butcher indicated he wanted to go with his own players and that is fair enough. I’ve been training back in Ireland for the last three weeks and I’m feeling good. It will be great if I am involved with the squad for Aberdeen. The club has a lot to play for and hopefully I can play my part.”