Derek McInnes wants to help Niall McGinn relaunch his career with a loan spell back at Aberdeen now that the winger’s move to South Korea has turned sour.
The Dons manager’s best efforts failed to prevent the player leaving Pittodrie under freedom of contract last July but he’s well aware that lucrative move to Gwangju FC hasn’t gone well.
McInnes has kept in contact with McGinn during those troubled times as the former Celtic player has failed to score a single goal in just seven appearances for a team already relegated from the K League Classic.
They are five points adrift at the foot of the table with just tomorrow’s final game of the season still to play and dropping down a division is likely to leave Gwangju looking to offload McGinn before the new campaign starts in March.
Hearts have already expressed an interest in bringing the experienced Northern Ireland international back to Scotland but McInnes is hoping he will choose to return to Aberdeen instead.
He said:“We were always aware that Niall’s league finished up in November and I have kept in touch with him. Whether it’s a possibility remains to be seen but he’s a good player, someone who was very good for us in the past.
“I don’t think it has been the most enjoyable stint for him over there so far but, if we got any encouragement that he could be available for loan, then it’s something we would look at.
“If he has the enthusiasm to do it and it could happen then it’s something we would enjoy and I’m sure our supporters would love it too. We enjoyed working with Niall, he is very well thought of here and rightly so because of his high level of performances.”
“I speak to Niall often, we text back and forth regularly and he still speaks to the lads all the time.
“We have had to try to work with different types of wide players because you can’t always get like-for-like.
“Niall was a different type to what we have now so someone with his experience and ability would always be attractive, especially having worked with him before.”
Aberdeen, with Rangers managerial target McInnes still at the helm, return to Premiership action at home to Betfred Cup finalists Motherwell tomorrow.
The Dons manager believes they will be boosted in their efforts to win the game by midfielders Kenny McLean and Ryan Christie earning Scotland caps during the international break.
However he was unhappy that the Scots’ stand-in manager Malky Mackay left Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie on the bench during the 1-0 defeat to the Netherlands at Pittodrie.
McInnes added:“I was frustrated that Graeme Shinnie didn’t get on the pitch because I think he should have and he will eventually.
“But it would have been a nice touch because I think half the crowd turned up to see him play, to be honest. It would have been appropriate for him to get that first opportunity to play for his country here.
“It didn’t come about but thankfully we got the chance to see Kenny and Ryan play for Scotland. I thought they both did well, they were bright and enthusiastic.
“It is a huge step forward for us as a club to have three players involved in a Scotland squad and all three lads came back in on the Monday bouncing.
“Hopefully by the time the new manager comes in we will still have those three in the squad and maybe one or two more.”