Stevie May: Aberdeen must wait on managerless Preston over striker

Stevie May playing for Preston North End against Bournemouth
Stevie May (right) joined Preston from Sheffield Wednesday in 2015

Manager Derek McInnes says Aberdeen will have to go at Preston North End's "pace" over striker Stevie May.

The Dons have made an offer for the former St Johnstone forward, 24, who has been at Deepdale since 2015.

But Preston are looking to replace manager Simon Grayson, who has joined Sunderland.

"It's no secret we'd liked to bring a different type of striker in," said McInnes, who stayed at Aberdeen after Sunderland spoke to the 45-year-old.

"We've got a few options and a few enquiries in for some players. That interest has been taken a bit further for Stevie, but, again, he's Preston's player.

"There's a lot of change at their club at the minute over the manager, so we need to go, really, at their pace.

"But, again, happy to talk more if we can get a deal done.

"He's not the only one we're looking at for that position. We've got a few enquiries in for a few players and not everything's going to fall for you, but hopefully we can get the players that we want and certainly the positions filled that we want before the European game."

Aberdeen will play either Kazakhstan's Ordabasy or Siroki Brijeg of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Europa League second qualifying round. Siroki Brijeg lead their first qualifying round tie with Ordabasy 2-0 after the first leg.

Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney has shown "a real willingness" to join Aberdeen, says Dons boss McInnes

McInnes also told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound that the Dons were nearer an announcement over the prospective signing of former Aston Villa, Celtic and Wigan midfielder Shaun Maloney.

The 34-year-old Scotland cap is a free agent after leaving Hull City.

"I think there's been a real willingness from Shaun to be at Aberdeen next season," McInnes explained.

"A few conversations with him and we're very close to hopefully being able to announce something, but until we are in a position to announce something, I would rather not say too much.

"It's getting closer to the fact that we think that we may have some good news on that front."

Midfielder Ryan Christie will return to Aberdeen on loan from Celtic, while Birmingham City forward Greg Stewart is also joining the Dons on loan.

Midfielder Greg Tansey joined as a free agent after leaving Inverness Caledonian Thistle and goalkeeper Joe Lewis has extended his stay.

Wide men Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes were among those leaving Pittodrie this summer, the latter joining Celtic.

"We need options," added McInnes. "We still need a ball carrier.

"If things do come off for us, we've got some good options in those forward areas, but a team like Aberdeen needs to have that.

"We've lost a couple of really key players in Niall and Jonny, who provided with so much threat and assists and goals.

"Thankfully, we've managed to get the players that we've wanted so far. We've still go a couple more and I'm also looking to get more out of the players that have been here for a while now.

"My players who've been here a while now, it was important that they saw good players coming through the door this summer and if we can get one or two more added to the boys we've got then I'm hopeful that we can have a good season."

Berkay Dabanli
Berkay Dabanli featured as a trialist for Aberdeen on Saturday

Aberdeen also need cover in central defence following the departure of Ash Taylor and 27-year-old Berkay Dabanli was a second-half substitute in Saturday's 3-0 friendly win over St Johnstone.

The German trialist ended last season with Chemnitzer, who finished eighth in his homeland's third tier, having previously been with Eskisehirspor in the Turkish second tier.

"For Berkay and Scott McKenna at the back, there was not a lot for them to do, but I thought what he did do was absolutely fine and he was tidy enough with his work," said McInnes.

"He's done well this week in training and it's no secret we are looking for a centre-back.

"But he is one of a few that we are looking at and we have the luxury of having a look at him by giving him some training facilities this week.

"We'll keep him with us for the next wee while and we'll see where we are."

Former Dons full-back Kevin McNaughton, who has left Inverness, is training with Aberdeen and was also in the squad for the friendly with Saints.

However, McInnes explained: "He's not a player we're looking to sign, but we're just trying to help Kevin along the way."

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