Dons hope for Darlington deal
By Peter O`Rourke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
ABERDEEN are hoping to reach a compromise with Darlington over David Preece to keep him at Pittodrie.
Preece's future is in doubt as Aberdeen are struggling to pay a clause in his contract which was involved in the deal that took him to Scotland in 1999.
Darlington are entitled to receive an additional £50,000 fee when Preece makes over 50 first team appearances, but with the keeper closing in on the total Aberdeen have been forced to leave him out of the side.
Aberdeen boss Steve Paterson is keen to keep Preece, and has offered him a new deal, but the contract will depend on Darlington agreeing a compromise figure.
"If Darlington hold out for the full £50,000, it will mean having to review how I can use what is already a limited transfer budget.
"I could be forced into a decision that I cannot afford to keep him. That would mean Darlington getting nothing and Preece missing out on a great chance to take his career to the next level.
"No one wants that. He's only 26 and reaching the peak of his career.
"Preece knows he will be first choice next season if the problem can be sorted out."
Darlington chairman George Reynolds has revealed he is ready to agree a deal with Aberdeen so that Preece can continue at Pittodrie.
"I feel sad for the player. I'd rather see him play and progress in his career and take less money," said Reynolds.
"All Aberdeen have to do is ring me and I'll do a deal. I'm a good lad, even my mam loves me."