Report: Sunderland's Naismith deal under threat as Aberdeen unveil trump card

Fans look on as players warm up ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Derby County at Stadium of Light on August 4, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

League One Sunderland and Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen are both reportedly challenging for Ross County right-back Jason Naismith.

Jason Naismith of St Mirren in action during the BETFRED Cup Group Stage between St Mirren and Edinburgh City at St Mirren Park on July 30, 2016 in Paisley, Scotland.

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.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton shoots while under pressure from Billy Jones of Sunderland during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Everton and Sunderland at Goodison Park on...

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.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is seen during the William Hill Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on May 27, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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.

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