By James Black
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has confirmed midfield enforcer Kenny McLean will leave Pittodrie at the end of the season – clearing the way for the 25-year-old to join boyhood heroes Rangers.
The Daily Record reported earlier this month that the Gers were set to launch a fresh pursuit of McLean in January when he becomes free to talk to other clubs.
The Dons confirmed that they had rejected a six-figure bid worth £300,000 for the midfielder in the summer – but McLean will now be free to sign a pre-contract with the Ibrox club in January after McInnes’ major contract revelation in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“Kenny has indicated he’s leaving at the end of the season and I’m grateful he has been upfront,” McInnes said, as quoted by The Scotsman website.
McLean joined the Dons from St. Mirren and has made over 120 appearances in all competitions for the Pittodrie side side.
Despite being a stand-out for the Dons after his move from Paisley, McLean was regularly ignored by Scotland boss Gordon Strachan and only picked up a single cap during Strachan’s time in charge of the national team.
McLean’s former Aberdeen team-mate Ryan Jack made an identical move over the summer when he signed for Pedro Caixinha’s side on a free after his Pittodrie contract expired.
McLean could do Rangers a huge favour tomorrow night when his Aberdeen side take on Celtic in the Scottish Premiership at Pittodrie.
The Gers trail both sides by six points and will be desperate to close the gap when they face Kilmarnock at Ibrox at the same time.
Football Insider Verdict
McLean would be a welcome addition to Pedro Caixinha’s midfield and would bring something a little bit different to the Gers compared to what they already have. The Light Blues should have probably coughed up for McLean over the summer just gone, but getting him for free next year will still represent good business. McLean and Jack have shown previously they work well together in a midfielder pairing and Rangers will be hoping they can replicate that at Ibrox. Rangers have lacked some steel in midfield for far too long and the addition of McLean could go a long way to fixing that for the Gers.
In other Rangers news, this Gers first-teamer has attended hospital after the game on Sunday.