Graeme Shinnie spent his summer family holiday with his phone switched on and by his side every waking minute as he admitted he didn’t know if he would have a job next season.

The battling midfielder, whose loan to Aberdeen from Wigan in the second half of last term’s Premiership campaign helped inspire his hometown team to a third-place finish, sat in the Spanish sunshine with his footballing future uncertain and even wondered whether the English club would pay up on the wages they owed him.

Now, with a three-year contract at Pittodrie in his pocket and a second permanent spell with the Dons secured, he looks ahead to stability and featuring in European football next season as the Latics face starting in League One south of the border with an eight-points deficit punishment, imposed because of a series of late payments to players.

It was a time, the 31-year-old insisted, of constant lies from Wigan, who were eventually rescued from financial ruin by local businessman Mike Danson.

READ MORE: Graeme Shinnie ‘back home again’ after returning to Aberdeen on three-year deal

“It was difficult,” he said, “being on holiday trying to chill out a bit but not knowing if the club was going to be a club or not, and not being paid and all that.

“Once that side of it was dealt with it was then about trying to sort out a deal to be released from my contract which still had a season to run, and negotiate with Aberdeen.

“It is massive credit to Dave Cormack, the Aberdeen chairman, to Steven Gunn, the director of football, and to chief executive Alan Burrows for sorting it so quickly to allow me to be back in on the first day with all the lads. That was quite important to me.

“I went away for 10 days with the wife and kids. It is a time away when I try to switch all my phones off and spent time with my kids and wife away from everything else.

“I wasn’t allowed to do that as every day I had to be on the phone to see what was going on at the club.

“As well as that, I was being told that I was going to be paid the next day and it was complete lies in the end.

The Herald:

“It was tough, I’m not going to lie. I was trying to stay away from it as much as I could as I was on holiday.

“It was one of those where I was waiting to see what the outcome was going to be.

“I’m delighted for Wigan that they found a buyer and are very stable now.

“That they have a future to build on. Then it was about getting the deal with Aberdeen done which I am delighted with.”

Shinnie revealed that over the course of last season there were five or six occasions when the Wigan players had to wait for their wages, each time realising that they were being lied to.

He said: "The takeover was then talked about and it was questionable whether we could believe it or not. We were not certain it was going to go through; it was in hope more than anything.

"We were being told it was going to go through and we were hoping it was true because it was very convincing and sounded good.

"But the majority of the time it would come to the next day and it wouldn't have been true.

"But Wigan are in a good place now with the new owner and everything settling down.

"It's a real positive for the fans.”

READ MORE: Aberdeen land Liverpool defender Rhys Williams on loan

Shinnie, a Scottish Cup winner with Inverness Caley Thistle in 2015 before embarking on a four-year spell at Aberdeen, followed by two-and-a-half-years with Derby County, was pleased that fellow Aberdonian Shaun Maloney, whose time in charge of Hibs was short-lived, has been retained by the English outfit as manager and believes he can turn things around at the DW Stadium.

Shinnie and Maloney passed each other like ships in the night, the former moving to the Reds on a six-month loan as the latter was appointed at Wigan.

He said: “He was very good with me. I spoke to him towards the end of the season. I had played with him in a Scotland squad before, but I had never been down there when he was the manager.

“It was a case of working out what was best for both. He wanted to keep me, but I wanted to come back to Aberdeen. It was quite important to me and he was very good with how he dealt with it. I only have praise for him.”