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DONS WANT LOWE BACK FOR NEXT SEASON; Manager hopeful to keep Lowe at club.

Byline: SEAN WALLACE CHIEF FOOTBALL WRITER

boss Derek McInnes today confirmed he will move to land Max Lowe in the summer if given any encouragement by Derby County.

Left-back Lowe is set to return to Championship Derby when his loan expires following sunday's final game of the campaign.

McInnes wants to secure the 21-year-old for next season and reckons Lowe would like to find a way to stay at Pittodrie if possible.

The former England U21 cap has been a stand-out performer this season.

McInnes faces a summer of rebuilding and could lose up to nine players at the end of the season through loan deals expiring or contracts running down. The Dons boss has opened up talks with Motherwell striker Curtis Main who is set to go out of contract at the end of the month. And he wants Lowe to be one of his major captures.

on securing Lowe for next season, McInnes said: "There is the potential of it and it is one of the options. If we get any TURN TO PAGE 43 FROM BACK PAGE encouragement from Derby that Max could be here next season then that is something we would be eager to look at.

"It is one of the options. "Derby need to decide what they want to do with Max first.

"Whether they want to keep him, whether they want to loan him again or whether they want to sell him.

"Derby hold the cards in that." Lowe spent the first half of the season on loan at Pittodrie before returning to his parent club in January.

On his return Lowe started for Derby in the 2-2 FA Cup draw with Premier League Southampton and the 2-0 Championship loss to Leeds.

McInnes secured Lowe's return on loan for the second half of the season when Derby boss Frank Lampard signed former England international Ashley Cole as cover for left-back.

Now McInnes wants to secure Lowe for next season and is confident the left-back would be open to extending his time at Pittodrie.

McInnes said: "Max is clearly enjoying it and I think would like to find a way to stay if he could.

"And we would like to have him. But we won't be able to make that decision."

Derby boss Lampard clearly sees a future for Lowe at Pride Park as he signed the left-back on a new four year deal just 24 hours before he moved to Aberdeen on loan in late August.

Whether Aberdeen can secure Lowe again for next season could ultimately come down to which division Derby are playing in.

The Rams could potentially be in the English flight as they are in the Championship play-off semifinals against Leeds United. They lost the first leg 1-0 at Pride Park at the weekend but face Leeds at Elland Road tomorrow evening. If Lampard was willing to put Lowe out on loan for a season whilst in the Championship it is likely he will opt to do the same if they step up to the top flight.

McInnes has a strong relationship with Lampard and was in regular contact with the Chelsea and England legend in the build up to Derby's pre-contract capture of skipper Graeme Shinnie.

Scotland international midfielder Shinnie has signed a three-year deal with Derby.

Lowe is one of four loan players set to leave Pittodrie in the summer along with Greg Stewart (Birmingham), Dom Ball (Rotherham) and James Wilson (Manchester United).

Ball's contract is set to expire at Rotherham and McInnes has opened up talks with the view to potentially securing him on a permanent deal.

Stewart's contract with Birmingham also expires at the end of the season. The attacker netted a superb winner in the 2-1 defeat of Hearts on Friday.

McInnes is keen to sign Stewart but Rangers are understood to be closing in on the 29-year-old.

On the chances of securing Stewart, McInnes said: "Greg is a good player and there are plenty of clubs I am sure will be interested in him. Just now we have to concentrate not so much on next season and recruitment but have to get a good week's work before going to Hibs.

"Greg has been trying to be fully fit and is desperate to do well for us and play his part.

"His winning goal will hopefully prove important for us come the end of the season."

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Dons boss Derek McInnes is keen to have Max Lowe stay on

Max Lowe is on loan from Derby
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Express (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 14, 2019
Words:753
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