Scott McKenna has signed for English Championship side Nottingham Forest, moving from Aberdeen in a multi-million pound deal.
The defender has agreed a contract at the City Ground after travelling south to complete a medical.
Forest’s bid for the centre-back, worth around £3m plus substantial add-ons, was accepted by Aberdeen at the weekend, with McKenna withdrawn from the playing squad hours before their 3-0 loss to Motherwell on Sunday.
Aberdeen said that the club could not disclose the fee but that it was “significant” and “a club record”.
Manager Derek McInnes said: “Scott is clearly a player who has approached his career to date in the correct manner and quite rightly, he has now got his reward.
“We have had the benefit of this in our first team and whilst from a football perspective it is sore to lose a player of his quality, we felt this was the right time for Scott to move on. He has had a real football education at our Club and he always approaches his work in a correct and professional manner. Scott is exactly the type of player and person we strive to develop at Aberdeen and is the ideal role model for other young players.
“Like any of the players that leave we always keep an eye on their progress with a sense of pride and I’ve not doubt he will go on to have a great career.”
The Scotland international was the subject of multiple offers from Hull City in 2018, and Aston Villa later the same year. He remained with the Pittodrie club then but has now been sold with the club having to deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus lockdown.
Following Sunday’s match, McInnes said that Forest were buying a player who would improve in years to come.
“Scott was always going to move at some point. I’d prefer to speak more when it’s concluded but he’s a player with 16 caps and at the age of 23 he’s only going to improve.
“He’s not just a good player, he’s a brilliant person and a great boy and I’ve enjoyed working with him. It’s always with a heavy heart when you lose good ones.
“But he’s one who is deserving of another opportunity to push on.
“Wherever he ends up he’ll have a good career, there’s no doubt about it, because he treats everything properly, whether it’s a passing drill or recovery after games, everything is 100%.
“There’s no doubt we’ll miss that player and person and we certainly could have done with him today.”
McInnes does not expect to get any of the transfer income to add to his squad having already made two signings, anticipating McKenna’s potential departure.
“We weren’t encouraging bids but we expected bids as soon as the Championship got up and running,” he added.
“The way Scott has been and his form, you’d need to be living on Mars to not see how well he’s been playing. His stats are right up there with anybody in our league.
“We were allowed to bring Tommie Hoban and Ross McCrorie in as part of that process to deal with McKenna leaving.”