Derek McInnes will make another attempt to sign Ryan Christie on a permanent deal if Brendan Rodgers decides the midfielder doesn’t have a long-term future with Celtic.
The Aberdeen manager failed with a similar bid for Christie last summer when his Parkhead counterpart took Jonny Hayes to Celtic in a £1.2 million deal.
Instead McInnes had to settle for a season-long loan for a player who has arguably been the Dons most creative performer during 14 months in total at Pittodrie.
Celtic paid £600,000 to Inverness Caley Thistle for Christie in September 2015 but the 23-year-old will go into the final year of his current contract having made only 13 appearances for the Parkhead club.
McInnes said:“The plan is for Ryan to go back to Celtic at the end of the season but if we are told any different to that then of course I would like the opportunity to work with him again. It is Celtic and Ryan’s call if I am being honest. He has been a brilliant addition to us in his loan spells.”
They certainly missed the influence of both Christie and suspended skipper Graeme Shinnie as Aberdeen crashed to a tenth straight defeat against Celtic last Sunday.
Thankfully for McInnes the pair are back from the start against Motherwell tonight if the game survives the Siberian Blast. McInnes added: “We are being criticised for not beating Celtic which has been the case over the last couple of seasons.
“Until we win a game it will be difficult to argue against that but we take confidence because we gave ourselves a chance to get a result.”
Meanwhile, Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson feels his first year in charge at Fir Park has been “as enjoyable as management gets”.
The Northern Irishman was handed the reins 12 months ago, initially on a caretaker basis, after Mark McGhee was sacked, and they sealed their survival with a game to spare.
Robinson also guided Well to the Betfred Cup final this season and now has them in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals and in seventh place in the Premiership ahead of Aberdeen’s visit.
Robinson said: “I’m a wee bit greyer now than when I first took the job. Listen, it’s a great football club, super people involved in it. It’s probably as enjoyable as management gets.
“We have been relatively successful for the size of the football club and the budget we work with. I’m enjoying it, it’s a challenge, there are new challenges every day. But that’s what you know, when you take the job, that’s what you have to meet.”