GARY Mackay-Steven has been offered the chance to live off Broadway. Graeme Shinnie could earn a life-changing wage rise down south.

And yet Derek McInnes believes he can persuade both players to stay at Aberdeen because they can get two things at Pittodrie they won’t find elsewhere. Happiness and love.

The Aberdeen manager’s day yesterday began with being informed that MLS club New York City want to speak to Mackay-Steven’s agent. The winger is out of contract in June, as is club captain Shinnie. Both have huge decisions to make.

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McInnes has been here before of course. He has spent the past few summers watching his best players depart for the simple reason that they can earn far more money elsewhere, which he has no problem with at all.

Shinnie is 27, Mackay-Steven a year older, so the next deal they sign is likely to be the most important of their entire careers. Who could blame them for seeking adventure and a few bob? The hope for McInnes is they realise that home is where the heart is.

McInnes said: “This has been ongoing for a while. They know how keen we are for them to sign and while I respect them looking at their options, I’m hoping we can get some clarity on it going forward.

“All I’ve said to [Mackay-Steven] is what we’ve gave him, in terms of being a key player again and being back in international set-up. He’s clearly happy. For any player, being happy at their work can help with their performances. For creative players, being on song is indication that they’re happy.

“My job is to show Gary why staying with us is the right thing. Hopefully he sees the benefit of it. He’s a popular boy with everyone at the club.

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“We got an email on Wednesday night from New York City with a notification they intended to speak to Gary’s representatives about a contract for next season. We said that was fine, he’s well within his rights. We spoke to Gary’s agent on Wednesday and Gary himself yesterday, who said he was only made aware of it in the morning.

“I think he was still in a bit of surprise about it. I just asked him if we were still an option – there’s no point of me wasting my time in spinning it out longer than we have to. But he said he sees the benefit of staying here and while he will have options, this is the first one. We’re still very much in consideration.”

Shinnie’s situation is slightly different in that he is loved by the Aberdeen support who see him as “one of their own” and the manager hopes that will convince him he would be daft to leave Pittodrie.

McInnes said: “Shinnie won’t get the status he’s got here with anybody else. He’s so relevant to our club – his association with the club and the team. He’s the heartbeat of my team. The bond with the supporters doesn’t always come but he’s got that.

“You won’t always get that and I’m sure he sees that. He’s a smart boy and I just hope he makes the right decision.”

But money talks.

McInnes said: “We are on the border of the richest league in the world. We lose players to The Championship, loan players might go back to Premier League clubs or whatever, and obviously we’ve lost Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn for the money, and Ryan Jack goes to Rangers.

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“So within every good team there always good players and they are the ones a lot of the time when recognition for them can feel like a threat.

“But it’s our job to try to get those performances out of them and get more consistency from them, but every time they perform and everyone recognises how good they are it makes us more vulnerable to losing them.

“That’s just the way it is. Unless somebody on the board increases the budget tenfold we’re not going to be able to deal with that side of it all the time.”

And then there is Scott McKenna.

Celtic had a bid of £3.5million knocked back for the defender in August – Aston Villa came in with an even higher offer – and McInnes is waiting for an official bid to come in over the next three weeks.

He said: “I would be pretty sure there will be some activity about McKenna and some phone calls about him. I’ve already had a couple to be honest, but nothing has materialised.

“We have got to where we are after 21 league games, we’ve got to a cup final this season already, and I want to go with the strength of the team at the minute and not lose anybody. With injured players coming back I think we can be stronger again in the second half of the season and hopefully add to the squad. I’m wanting all my players, my key players like McKenna especially to be with us for the full season.

"Only money can change that. It’s up to other clubs to come in. Hopefully nobody comes in but it can change pretty quickly. Somebody’s in desperation and in need they will pay the money, so we’ll see.”