ABERDEEN are determined to keep Scott McKenna.
But former Don Stephen Glass fears they could soon find themselves powerless to hold on to their prize asset.
The Dons have knocked back multiple offers for their star centre-half – including a £3.5 million bid from Celtic.
The Granite City club say the 21-year-old is not for sale.
But Glass, who moved from Aberdeen to Newcastle United aged 22, reckons there may come a point where his old club are left with no choice but to let McKenna go.
“There’s no doubt Scott’s a very good player, so he’s going to attract a lot of attention,” he said.
“He will end up moving. But the question for Aberdeen is: ‘How much for?’.
“It’s a difficult one because they see Celtic selling players for £7-10m and they’ll want that sort of money.
“But the reality is I don’t think anybody is going to come and put that down for an Aberdeen player.
“The Celtic lads have won titles and played in the Champions League, so the Hoops can demand, and hold out for, bigger money.
“It’s going to be much more difficult for Aberdeen to do that.
“They’re in charge of the situation in that Scott’s on a long-term contract. But, at some point, the business model at Aberdeen will kick in, and that means selling players on.
“I’d imagine Scott signed his long-term contract with the club knowing that he’d be a wanted man, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a price in that contract that, if met, Aberdeen would have to let him speak to another club.
“I don’t think he’d be signing a contract for that length of time without that price being in there.”
Dons boss Derek McInnes accepts his star defender will move on.
The question is when, and to whom?
McInnes feels he has an English Premier League calibre defender in McKenna.
But Glass, who is coaching new MLS side Atlanta United’s kids, reckons most Premier League sides will be wary of splashing the cash.
“Aberdeen obviously feel Scott’s valuation will increase if they keep him,” he said.
“But it was interesting for me that they played against Burnley twice in Europe, a team whose manager was a centre-back, and who needed to sign a centre-back, and they didn’t pull the trigger on it.
“Sean Dyche saw him at close quarters twice but went and spent bigger money on another player.
“I think the reason is that middle-of-the-road Premier League clubs can’t go and spend however many millions on a player who is a ‘maybe’.
“So strangely, it’s more likely to be a bigger club that will maybe take a punt on Scott, without needing him to come straight into the side and start every week.
“It might end up being a mid-season one, when a club maybe loses a centre-back to injury or to another club.
“I’m sure there will be no shortage of clubs monitoring him with one eye on that.”
Glass swapped Pittodrie for the Premier League in 1998 when the Magpies swooped.
As soon as he heard of the Geordie giants’ interest, he wanted to make the move.
Should such a club come knocking for McKenna, it’s hard to imagine the young Scotland internationalist won’t feel the same.
“When I left Aberdeen I’d decided to let my contract run and see what happened,” said Glass.
“I knew there were English clubs interested through my agent, and I eventually heard from a different source that Newcastle were one of them.
“For me, at 22, hoping for a move like that, then Kenny Dalglish wants to phone you – that was my mind made up.
“It was definitely better financially for me to go to England than to stay in Scotland, and I had options at that time.
“But these days the money on offer in England is outrageously better than even when I left.
“It will come down to what the player wants to do in the end, but the Premier League is an attractive proposition for any young player.”