With the race hotting up to sign Ross County right-back Jason Naismith, Aberdeen are reportedly bringing out their trump card in an attempt to beat Sunderland to his signature.
It is understood that Naismith has emerged as a key target for Sunderland, who are in desperate need of right-backs after releasing both Billy Jones (below) and Marc Wilson following their relegation to League One. And 23-year-old Naismith, who worked with new Sunderland manager Jack Ross at St Mirren, has emerged as a key target.
Unfortunately, however, Aberdeen appear ready to go all out for the former Scotland U21 international. The Sunderland Echo claim that the Dons are hoping to pip the Black Cats to Naismith by offering him the chance to play European football, which is obviously something Sunderland cannot put on the table.
The Echo, however, claim that Aberdeen could try to twist Ross County’s arm by offering a cash-plus-player deal for Naismith, who is valued at a minimum £250,000. Greg Tansey could be offered to the Staggies, who were relegated from Scotland’s top flight last season.
This is a big test of Jack Ross’s negotiation skills, then, and arguably his biggest challenge since taking over at the Stadium of Light so far.
Ross got the best out of Naismith at St Mirren, helping him earn a move to the top flight last summer, and the 40-year-old will be hoping this relationship helps blow Aberdeen out of the water.