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Derek McInnes jokes about wanting Kent and Morelos for Scott Wright

The winger appears to be on the brink of joining Rangers.

Derek McInnes insists Aberdeen now have the coping mechanisms which mean they do not have to fear Scott Wright's Pittodrie exit.

The Scotland Under-21 ace is close to agreeing a pre-contract switch to Rangers, according to Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard.

McInnes has already confessed he is resigned to the winger moving on after seeing talks on a new deal stall.

But this is not the first time the Dons boss has been forced to wave goodbye to one of his key men.

Scott McKenna was the latest to check out of the Granite City this summer as he made a £3million switch to Nottingham Forest, while the likes of Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and Ryan Jack have also been prised away in recent seasons.

But Aberdeen continue to fly high in the upper reaches of the Premiership and McInnes says the days of fretting over big-name departures are long gone.

"You learn to deal with it and move on," he said. "It's about trying to keep those departures to a minimum.

"We've already lost Scott McKenna this season, who was arguably our best defender for a club record fee.

"Yet we've probably this season had a goals-against record that has been as good as any we've had.

"It shows there can be coping mechanisms. I'd much rather have Scott McKenna in my team, of course, he's an international player who will only get better. But we deal with that the best way we can.

"Some players leave and it's a big hole to fill. We'll try with whatever players we lose between now and next season to carry on because that's the way it is here. We want to develop players and move them on to bigger and better things.

"But we want that on the back of them playing and contributing to Aberdeen's first team for a period of time. That's the only frustration if Scott isn't to re-sign with us. I feel that it's that bit too early for him."

Rangers are keen to fast forward Wright's move to Glasgow and are willing to offer up a player exchange if a deal can be done this month.

And McInnes joked there were a couple of Gerrard's players he would be interested in.

"Aye, Kent and Morelos!" he grinned. "Listen, there has been discussions right across the board about how a good deal would look for Aberdeen and obviously for Rangers.

"Whether it's players involved or a fee, these are for the board to sort out. We'll see what that looks like come the end of the window.

"Rangers or any other club can do a pre-contract with Scott at any time but from our point of view, Scott is an important part of the team and we don't want to lose important players at this stage of the season when we've still got so much to play for.

"We want to improve as we go along and need as many good players as we can and Scott is one of those. It's not in our interests to lose one of them but if we do, it's got to be a good deal."

The third-placed Dons travel to Dingwall on Saturday to face Ross County – and McInnes believes new boss John Hughes is the right man to lift the Staggies off the bottom of the table.

He said: "I think it's an inspired appointment. I think John has been deserving of this opportunity. He's been out of the top flight for too long.

"I've got a lot of time for John and he's clearly the type of manager who can go in and get a reaction.

"He knows his way about a football pitch and about a dressing room. He can plot and get the desired outcome so I wish him well and I think he will do well there."

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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