Scott McKenna: Aberdeen expect more interest in Scotland defender - Stewart Milne

Scott McKenna
McKenna celebrated a goal against Rangers earlier this month

Aberdeen are braced for further bids for centre-half Scott McKenna in January after turning down a "very substantial offer" in August.

The Dons rejected a bid from Aston Villa for the Scotland defender, 22, in excess of the £3.5m Celtic had tabled.

Chairman Stewart Milne told BBC Scotland he discussed the offer with manager Derek McInnes, but prioritised on-field success this season.

"We all believed it wasn't just about the scale of the offer," Milne said.

"It was a very substantial offer, and it did make us sit down with Derek and discuss the whole thing through.

"What was very important for us was we started the season off with as strong a team as we possibly could.

"We'd lost a number of key players from last season. Scott's been a key player in the team for the last couple of seasons and we believed it was important we got off to a good start with Scott as part of that squad. "

Aberdeen reached the Scottish League Cup final, where they lost 1-0 to Celtic, and after an inconsistent start, are now up to fourth in the Premiership, four points off the top before Tuesday's game against Dundee.

The club's plans to build a new £50m stadium and training facilities at Kingsford, near Westhill, were overwhelmingly approved by councillors in January, while the construction phase began in July.

The new stadium is scheduled to open for the 2021/22 season, although a judicial review hearing into the plans is set to begin on Wednesday, 19 December, which Milne admitted could delay the project by around six months if the court finds in favour of the No Kingsford Stadium (NKS) group.

But Milne insists there is no danger of the club losing its focus on further on-field success in order to fund the Kingsford project.

"We need to bear in mind it's what we do out there on the pitch that drives the momentum for everything else," he added.

"It would be good to be able to sell players and start to raise some of the cash needed to deliver the stadium, but at this point in time our number one priority is to try and continue to keep that success going on the park.

"We do expect clubs to be showing an interest [in McKenna] when the window opens, but we'll just have to wait and see what comes in and we'll deal with it at that point in time."

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