‘That has been going on in the background’ – Aberdeen summer transfer update provided by interim boss Peter Leven

Aberdeen interim boss Peter Leven confirmed player recruitment plans have been ongoing ahead of new manager Jimmy Thelin’s arrival.

Elfsborg boss Thelin has agreed a three-year deal to manage the Dons and will officially start at Pittodrie on June 3.

The 46-year-old is remaining at the Allsvenskan club until the Swedish top-flight enters a summer break.

Leven revealed summer transfer plans are well under way to ensure Thelin can start his time in Scotland with a bang.

On recruitment, Leven said: “That has been going on in the background and that will continue.”

Aberdeen Interim Manager Peter Leven during the 2-2 draw at Ross County. Image: SNS
Aberdeen interim manager Peter Leven during the 2-2 draw at Ross County. Image: SNS

Key first team players out of contract

As well as incomings under Swedish boss Thelin, there are also likely to be players exiting Pittodrie this summer in a squad reshuffle.

A number of player contracts expired at the end of the season.

The campaign concluded with a 2-2 draw at Ross County as the Dons secured a seventh-placed finish in the Premiership.

Midfielder Connor Barron and keeper Kelle Roos are both out of contract and have not signed new deals.

Scotland under-21s captain Barron is on the radar of Italian Serie A club Bologna, who have secured Champions League group stage qualification for next season.

Aberdeen's Connor Barron celebrates as he scores to make it 1-0 against St Mirren. Image: SNS
Aberdeen’s Connor Barron celebrates as he scores to make it 1-0 against St Mirren. Image: SNS

Bologna previously raided Aberdeen in summer 2022 when signing Lewis Ferguson for a fee of around £3million plus a 20% sell-on clause.

Ferguson was recently named the best midfielder in Italy’s top-flight, and Napoli, Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Inter Milan were all credited with interest in Ferguson with the view to a potential summer swoop.

However, Bologna captain Ferguson recently suffered a cruciate ligament injury that required surgery and ruled him out of Scotland’s Euro 2024 campaign.

Dons keeper Roos recently indicated he would wait until he has held discussions with new manager Thelin before making a decision on his future.

Centre-back Stefan Gartenmann is set to return to parent club FC Midtjylland after a season-long loan.

Aberdeen's Stefan Gartenmann celebrates as he scores to make it 1-0 against Mothewell at Pittodrie. Image; SNS
Aberdeen’s Stefan Gartenmann celebrates as he scores to make it 1-0 against Mothewell at Pittodrie. Image: SNS.

Gartenmann has a year remaining on his contract with the Danish top-flight club, and he has not ruled out staying on at Aberdeen, but said any thoughts about his future were on hold until the end of the campaign.

Canadian international winger Junior Hoilett’s contract also expired at the end of the campaign.

The 32-year-old has impressed since signing on a short-term contract under former interim boss Neil Warnock in February.

Hoilett recently indicated he would be open to extending his career at Pittodrie.

Aberdeen’s Junior Hoilett celebrates with Bojan Miovski after scoring against Livingston. Image: SNS.

Thelin to make call on players out of contract

Winger Jonny Hayes’ contract has also expired – but the 36-year-old is expected to call time on his playing career.

Hayes was given a guard of honour after the final Pittodrie game of the season – a 5-1 defeat of Livingston.

Leven insists Thelin will make the call on whether to offer new contracts.

Aberdeen director of football Steven Gunn (left) and chief executive Alan Burrows. Image: SNS.

He said:  “Players out of contract is up to Steven Gunn (director of football), Alan Burrows (chief executive) and their agents.

“Jimmy has been looking at the game and the squad and been in contact with Steven for that scenario.

“That is up to them.”


Regular contact with new boss Thelin

New Aberdeen manager Thelin’s final game with Elfsborg is an away league trip to IFK Goteborg on June 1.

He will officially start at Pittodrie two days later and will bring his Elfsborg assistants Christer Persson and Emir Bajrami to Aberdeen.

Leven will work under Thelin as assistant first-team coach next season and beyond.

And he will remain in regular contact with Thelin until the boss arrives in the Granite City.

Jamie McGrath celebrates after netting against Ross County. Image: SNS.

Leven said:  “I’ll stay in Aberdeen for a couple off days, then I’ll go back down south (Newcastle) to see the family.

“But I will be in regular contact with Jimmy coming in.”




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