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Aberdeen shut the door on Rangers

07 December 2017

But Aberdeen have McInnes under contract and have refused Rangers permission to hold talks with him as they signal their willingness to fight to keep him at Pittodrie.

Sportsmail understands, however, that Aberdeen will only sanction the talks if Rangers pay the stipulated £800,000 compensation figure up front - with the money being returned to them if negotiations break down further down the line.

Although McInnes is contracted until 2020 and around £1 million compensation would be required to secure him and his assistant Tony Docherty, legend Willie Miller claimed the situation is outwith Aberdeen's hands.

What is clear is that Milne is determined not to lose his boss to his club's main rivals for second place.

The long-running pursuit kicked off six weeks ago after Pedro Caixinha's sacking which saw McInnes installed as the No1 contender to replace the Portuguese coach.

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Ferguson, 39, played alongside McInnes at Ibrox between 1995 and 2000, captaining the Light Blues to 5 Scottish Premier League, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup apiece, including a treble in 2002-03.

It is understood that McInnes will meet with Dons chairman Stewart Milne later on Wednesday to discuss his future. It hasn't been as straightforward as it should have been over the last few weeks'.

"Rangers can not allow the situation to drag on longer as it then makes the Ibrox board look like they don't know what they are doing", Miller added.

But Aberdeen publicly turned down the Ibrox club's request to speak to the 46-year-old.

Aberdeen shut the door on Rangers