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‘DONS HOPE DEL STAYS,’ McLEAN

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KENNY McLEAN hopes that Derek McInnes will be in the Aberdeen dugout for Saturday’s match against Motherwell.

The midfielder, who appeared for Scotland against the Netherlands on Thursday, has said that the whole club is hopeful that McInnes will remain with the Dons, despite intense media speculation linking him with the Rangers job.

“I hope he is here for the next game against Motherwell. I think everybody involved in the club will be feeling the same. We can’t dictate what is going to happen there.

“There is loads of speculation but I’m sure he will come in on Monday ready to go and focused on preparing the team for Saturday.”

The 25-year-old believes that McInnes, 46, has earned the right to be eyed enviously by other clubs due to his impressive form with the Pittodrie club.

“He has done a very good job so it is no surprise other clubs are looking at him. It was the same in the summer when there was Championship clubs wanting him.

“It shows the job he has done here and hopefully that continues.”

Scottish media outlets continue to pit McInnes as the favourite to replace Pedro Caixinha in the Rangers hot seat. McInnes spent 5 years at Ibrox from 1995-2000, where he made 47 appearances and scored 4 goals.

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Rangers issued a statement on Friday evening admitting that they had not formally approached any manager for the vacancy and saying that they were still looking at applications.

Aberdeen would be looking at just over £1million in compensation for their manager who signed a new contract in the summer after rejecting the opportunity to manage Sunderland.

The last two Rangers managers, Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha left Ibrox under a cloud and McInnes would have to review the reasons why he rejected Sunderland before committing himself to the Ibrox club if he is formally offered the job.

Aberdeen would be looking for the entire compensation package to be paid upfront and this could be a stumbling block for the Rangers board who have been signing players by paying in installments. This plan would not interest Aberdeen who are desperate to hold onto their manager.

McInnes is also a contender for the vacant Scotland job, with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers recommending him to the SFA to be the replacement for Gordon Strachan and attempt to get Scotland to a major tournament for the first time since the World Cup in France in 1998.

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