Aberdeen director of football Willie Miller insists he will not be held to ransom by Charlie Mulgrew over a new deal at Pittodrie.
Mulgrew, who is out of contract in the summer, is now free to sign a pre-contract elsewhere.
Big-spending Dundee are reported to be keen on signing on Mulgrew, but Aberdeen are hoping to tie down the full-back to a new contract.
"Dundee are perfectly within their rights to make approaches for players who are out of contract in the summer," Miller told the Daily Record.
"We have offered Mulgrew a very good deal in an attempt to get him to remain at the club.
"We have offered him a new, improved deal because he is a player we want.
"If he wants to stay then, hopefully, he will sign that deal. If he was to accept, we would be delighted.
"But if he decides not to it's up to him to negotiate an offer with another club.
"If that becomes the case we will find a replacement as we have done for other players in the past. That is the nature of football."