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Contract situation to be sorted out this week for 10 players


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Dons get down to business on contracts

 

By Paul Smith

 

Published: 15/04/2008

 

The future of Aberdeen’s 10 on-loan and out-of-contract players will be clarified this week. From today the Dons will hold further talks with the players who are free to leave the club at the end of the season.

 

Announcements are imminent as the rebuilding work gathers pace.

 

Top of the agenda are Barry Nicholson and Lee Miller, who have both stalled on contract offers. Steve Lovell, Derek Soutar, Richie Byrne and Stuart Duff are the others who fall out of contract next month.

 

The loan deals for Josh Walker, Dave Bus, Sone Aluko and Alan Maybury all expire at the same time.

 

Dons manager Jimmy Calderwood is promising movement this week after months of delays.

 

He said: “We have to talk to the players about their futures. We will get it done and see where we stand. There are decisions to be made on the out-of-contract players and discussions to be had about those on loan.

 

“I don’t think it is fair to talk about individuals until we have sat down and discussed it with them.

 

“The more pressing concern is the players who are out of contract. We should be able to give more clarity on it by the end of the week.â€

 

Calderwood has resisted a kneejerk reaction to the disappointment of the weekend result, although the need for fresh impetus at the club has been reinforced.

 

He said: “I have to try to remain calm and objective. As a manager you always look at things and assess them. Performances such as Saturday give food for thought.

 

“There is always the chance for some things to change, although my mind is made up on others.â€

 

Calderwood has stated his willingness to retain Aluko and Walker while he has worked hard in an attempt to keep Miller and Nicholson in the north-east.

 

The remaining six are waiting to discover what next season holds for them, although a decision on Maybury and Duff is likely to be deferred until the remaining SPL matches are played.

 

Calderwood said: “Sone Aluko will go back to Birmingham to do pre-season with them and could be retained by Alex McLeish. Apart from that, a lot depends on what Barry and Lee decide to do. We have to look at our finances and our position at the end of the season.

 

“We will see who we can bring in before we do too much in the other direction. There are a lot of players who want to come and play for Aberdeen but finances and whether we qualify for Europe will have a bearing.â€

 

Jonathan Smith, signed last summer following his release by Wigan, has already been told he will be free to leave the club when his contract expires next month. Dan Smith, who is still under contract next term, is another who has been deemed surplus to requirements.

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