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McInnes hits back at Clarke over Stewart move to Aberdeen

The Pittodrie boss has said Greg Stewart decided he wanted to join the Dons over Killie.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has dismissed Steve Clarke's claim Greg Stewart's switch to Pittodrie had "a strange smell", insisting the forward had the chance to rejoin Kilmarnock if he'd wanted to.

Stewart spent the first half of the season on loan at Killie and scored eight goals in 16 appearances under Clarke.

However, the forward was recalled by his parent club Birmingham in January, with Blues manager Gary Monk saying he had no intention of playing him and the move was "a club decision".

Stewart then opted to join Aberdeen on loan until the end of the season in a move which left his former boss Clarke to question how it all had transpired.

The Dons manager has now offered his version of events, insisting the player plumped for his team when both Premiership sides matched Birmingham's requirements.

McInnes, who refused to comment on a potential move for Celtic's Lewis Morgan, said: "In the summer we thought about bringing Greg back but we were after Ryan Christie at the time.

"We were given encouragement that might be the deal we got done.

"While we were waiting for Ryan, Greg goes to Kilmarnock so we ended up missing out on both players.

"That's the truth of the matter.

"Now we have him back and it is Greg that wanted to come back to us, which suggests he enjoyed his time here with us and working with myself and feels he has unfinished business here.

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1434756-clarke-stewart-s-aberdeen-deal-has-strange-smell/ | default

"What we have with Greg is a very confident and fit player from playing games and I think we will reap the benefit of that.

"I asked the question about a permanent deal for Greg and it became clear it was just going to be a loan.

"We were asked by Birmingham to submit our best offer by lunchtime on Friday, which we did do.

"We were then told Kilmarnock had matched the offer and it was then up to the player.

"So just to take any doubt about how it all played out, Greg decided he wanted to come to us, which is brilliant for us, great news.

"Now we have him, it's important we try and get the best out of him."

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