ABERDEEN are close to signing Hull and Scotland star Shaun Maloney.
With only 3 matches to go in the English Premier League, Hull sit in the relegation places – one point behind Swansea and the former Celtic midfielder could trade East Yorkshire for Aberdeen.
The 34-year-old is a free contract at the end of the season and could bring his time at Hull to an end by moving back north of the border.
Maloney began his career at Celtic under Martin O’Neill before moving to Aston Villa, where two seasons of injury woes and lack of appearances saw him return back to Celtic Park. However, after spells at Wigan and Chicago Fire, Maloney settled at Hull City and has featured 36 times in the past two seasons. This season has seen the tricky midfielder feature only 13 times as early injuries saw him fall down the pecking order.
Former Celtic and Aberdeen midfielder, Billy Stark, believes that Maloney could provide more than adequate replacement to Niall McGinn – who is leaving Pittodrie at the end of the season.
“Would Shaun be a statement signing? Yes, absolutely,” the former Scotland Under-21 manager said.
“They made a statement of sorts by paying relatively big money for Kenny McLean and I think that paid off.
“Shaun is a good Scotland international player and his status can add something extra to the team in terms of his ability and his experience of winning things. That is the kind of signing that would improve Aberdeen.
“McGinn going is obviously a loss to them because he carries a goalscoring threat as well as providing assists. But Shaun has that great set-piece delivery and he has real quality on the ball.
“He can create and score goals and his arrival would compensate for the loss of McGinn. In fact, if they can keep the rest of them, Niall’s loss would be offset if Maloney comes.”
Maloney has won 47 caps for Scotland and featured 215 times for Celtic, scoring 52 goals, over two spells.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has also been monitoring Kris Commons as the player gets set to say his goodbyes at Parkhead later this month.
Commons went back in December for an emergency loan period and may well opt to join up again with his former Celtic boss Neil Lennon at Easter Road.
However McInnes remains an admirer of the former Scotland star and may be able to offer the player a more lucrative deal than Hibs.