DEREK McInnes has admitted for the first time it is unlikely Aberdeen will be able to hold onto Pittodrie captain Graeme Shinnie when his contract expires next month.

Shinnie was at Pride Park on Saturday to watch Derby County, who are interested in signing the Scotland midfielder, beat Bolton 4-0 in the English Championship.

The Rams, who are bidding to secure a play-off place and win promotion to the Premier League this season, are just one of several clubs who are interested in signing the 27-year-old.

Celtic and Rangers as well as Luton Town, Sunderland and Wigan have all been linked with the versatile player, who can play at left back as well as in midfield.

However, Derby manager Frank Lampard, who has admitted he is keen to sign the free agent in the summer, has become the front runner to secure his services following the weekend.


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Shinnie missed Aberdeen’s defeat to Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday due to the suspension he picked up in the quarter-final win over Rangers.

McInnes said: “There is nothing new on it. Shinnie was at the game, he was at the hotel with the team, but I haven’t actually spoken to him about his own situation really. We plan to do so.”

Asked if he thought Aberdeen could hold onto their skipper, the Pittodrie manager said: “I suppose there is a chance, but we are up against it with that one I think.”

Meanwhile, McInnes has revealed he is still confident he will lift the Scottish Cup with Aberdeen one day after another cup disappointment against Celtic.


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“I will get there,” he said. “I will get it. I waited long enough as a player and I’m pretty sure I’ll get there as a manager.

“It is important for my club. Over the last six years we have got ourselves into enough semi-finals and positions in finals to try and win it and make that step. No other club outwith Celtic have done that.

“That shows there’s a lot of good work getting done at my club. I have got a lot of good staff, a lot of good people doing the right thing. It is not easy to sustain that over six years. If it was easy everybody would be doing it.

“But nobody else other than us have done it, to keep pushing and pushing. But we have come up against very good Celtic teams and we have come up against afternoons like Sunday, which was very tough.”