Ryan Christie says Derek McInnes was key to Aberdeen return

Celtic's Ryan Christie is back for a season-long loan spell at Aberdeen, buoyed by the continuing presence of Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS
Celtic's Ryan Christie is back for a season-long loan spell at Aberdeen, buoyed by the continuing presence of Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS
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Ryan Christie admits he held off committing himself to Aberdeen until boss Derek McInnes sorted his Pittodrie future.

The Celtic midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan with the Dons and 
was invited back as part of the deal which saw Jonny Hayes make a £1.3 million switch to Parkhead.

But the 22-year-old was worried by Sunderland’s interest in McInnes.

The Wearside outfit wanted the Reds manager to replace David Moyes as they planned a rebuilding project at the Stadium of Light after dropping out of the Premier League.

But worried by the Black Cats’ massive £110 million debts, the former Bristol City boss turned down a second chance at coaching down south.

Now McInnes, pictured, has vowed to carry out his own transformation job at Aberdeen following the loss of five key players.

And that was all Christie needed to hear as he immediately agreed to a fresh 12-month loan stint.

He told RedTV: “It came out in the press that I would be coming back but I was still on holiday lying on a beach. I hadn’t had a phone call so I didn’t know what was going on.

“When I came back things had got into motion but, understandably, I didn’t want to make a decision until I knew the gaffer was staying.

“When the news broke that he was going to stay it was a shock to a lot of people
in Scottish football but it’s 
brilliant news.

“Not just for the club, as it is a huge lift, but also for the whole of Scottish football.

“For a few years there it turned out to be that as soon as there was any offer from England, people would jump ship. So it’s credit to the manager that he has stayed here.

“He called me the next day to say he had made his mind up to stay at Aberdeen and wanted to have me on board. As soon as I heard that my mind was made up and I wanted to come back.”