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Saturday 2nd March 2024:  kick-off 3pm

Scottish Premiership - St Mirren v  Aberdeen

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Contracts up at end of season

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From P&J online:


Aberdeen will this week step up their attempt to keep Michael Hart, Barry Nicholson and Chris Clark at Pittodrie.


The trio are among 10 players who will be out of contract at the end of the season and Dons manager Jimmy Calderwood expects discussions about new contracts for the key players to continue this week.


The others are goalkeepers Jamie Langfield and Derek Soutar, defenders Richie Byrne and Zander Diamond, and forwards Chris Maguire, Lee Miller and Steve Lovell.



For the sake of continuity more than anything else, I'd like them all to stay bar Clangers and Byrne. However, I'm wondering if our success of last season might make demands unrealistic (from the boards POV) and that we may have to resign ourselves to losing a few.


I'm worried that the three key players mentioned may be at the stage of their careers where they're after a big payday to set them up.


What do you want to happen? What do you think will happen?

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Michael hart has no agent, and I really believe he wants to stay....unfortunately at that stage and age where a reasonable pay day may be wanted....I think he will stay.


Barry Nic will stay while the Jimmies are in charge. If that were to change - who knows? ....would he get a bigger club than Aberdeen? I think he will stay.


Chris Clark - He will stay.


Lee Miller / Steve Lovell - a lot of work to be done this season to convince us all of being offered a new contract. May both be offloaded.


Langfield will probably go.


Byrne - who knows?

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I have a feeling that one of those three - Hart, Nic and Clark - will leave, and I have a gut feeling that will be Hart. If certain rumours are correct, he's rather peeved at being on less money than certain other players who are clearly not performing as well as oor Mikey.


I'd like to see Hart, Nicholson, Lovell, Diamond, Maguire and probably Clark stay and MAYBE Soutar (as a back up keeper) stay... the rest can do one for all I care.


However, what I think WILL happen, is that all the dross (Langfield, Byrne, Miller) will jump at the chance to sign new deals as will Maguire, Diamond and Clark, and we'll predictably be left sweating on the deals for Nicholson, Hart and Lovell.

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I think Hart and Nicholson both probably could get a decent move away, especially if they both enjoy good seasons this term. They've certainly both made promising starts.


I would find it hard to imagine that Hart, especially, isn't on the radar of bigger clubs (and in monetary terms rather than stature, that is - i'm thinking low Premiership/high-to-mid Championship), as he is a wonderfully consistent full back who would have been capped by Scotland by now if he had been with a Glasgow or even Edinburgh side. I'll stick my neck out and say that I think he'll make that breakthrough this year, as Neilson isn't guaranteed a game (and isn't as good) and Alexander is getting old. Thus adding to his desirability.


Nicholson, I think he will be well represented and has a decent reputation, including international caps. I'm sure he could get a 8-10k a week contract at some nondescript Championship club, Cardiff or Preston for example.


Clark - well, i'd say his qualities are more commonplace (although still highly valuable) and he may not be so sought after. I'd guess that we'll keep him, on a significantly improved deal.

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As much as I agree with you re Hart being good enough for Scotland, there are a few problems with him being called up: first & foremost Hutton and Whittaker at Rangers will ALWAYS be included before him. I'm not saying that they're better, but trust me they'll be further up the pecking order.


In all honesty, I'm not sure I really want Hart getting that recognition from a selfish point of view: yes it's good for the player & the club's standing.... but at the end of the day it will mean an increased exposure & prob the Dons needing to shell out more on wages than they previously needed to!


All that said Hart, Nicholson & Clark are musts to re-sign. Maguire seems a decent prospect & likewise should be retained. Diamond has started the season (a real make or break one in my book) v well & looks like one to be kept.


The other 5 guys I wouldn't be overly bothered if we lost. Lovell is a frustration as we paid decent money for him, but has struggled with injury & form. Think he'll be offski through his own choice- but would be good if he put himself in the shop window by helping us out 1st.


Langfield & Soutar are both capable goalies. No more, no less. If we keep em fair enough... if we lose em then there are plenty of a similar standard milling about. Langfield must be for the off though if Calderwood is still the boss next term.


Byrne is a guy that gets slated alot. Haven't seen enough of him to make a judgement. He's always injured, but then so was Touzani last yr & that resulted in a 2yr deal... so god knows! In my book he seems injury-prone so not worth the risk to be honest.


Lee Miller is another I can take or leave. Fully expect him to delay any "talk on his future" until late into the season & put in a similar end of season that he did with Hearts when his contract was up in order to get another move. Like Lovell I won't be bothered if he does his bit, puts himself in the window, and moves on... with any luck they may have put us into Europe again?


In all honesty though, I do feel that Aberdeen need to offer more than 2 yr deals which seems to be the max these days. Just seems every summer its either one half or the other that's out of contract. That way when we do have a desirable player we have a bit of an advantage to get a decent fee... just a thought


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Hart will get what he has coming to him.  Always build a team from the back line out.  IMHO he is a key part of our defence especially with Ando gone.


Byrne will probably be let go.


Miller & Lovell have this season to show their stuff.  Miller even more so now that Brewster is out of the picture.


Bazza & Clark are proving to be money well spent and are worth re-signing.


Langfield is the keeper I can lose without feeling upset.  He has stated he isn't happy here.  If I were in JC's shoes I'd give him a run of 4 or 5 starts leading up to the January Transfer Window and drop kick his ass out while trying to get even a little something for him which is more than we'll get if he goes at the end of the season.  Soutar has proven a capable keeper but I'd rather see him as a back up.

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I would be very surprised if Lovell signs a new contract, Jimmy obviously has a problem with him and if he moves in the summer he will get a tasty signing on fee from new club 

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