Derek McInnes staying at Aberdeen is a relief for Dons fans – but he was never likely to leave for Stoke City.

McInnes’ name, according to the Scottish Sun, cropped up as a potential candidate for the job – but after turning down Rangers, a move to Stoke would seem ridiculous.

That’s not to say anything about Stoke, but more McInnes’ history at Ibrox.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 02: Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes reacts during the Betfred Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on December 2, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

When he turned down the chance to replace Pedro Caixinha, it very much looked as though there was a job at Pittodrie as long as McInnes wanted one.

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It’s probably still the case today.

The idea he was going to walk away from the most competitive title race in years is crazy.

Pushing Celtic and Rangers all the way would be another step in the right direction for him.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 22: Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes applauds fans at the final whistle during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Hearts at Pittodrie Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

Recent seasons have seen Celtic miles in front but with only a few points covering the top four then the title is wide open.

The Dons might well fall short this year too but there’s a real sense that the gap is closing.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 08: Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Aberdeen and St Johnstone at Pittodrie Stadium on December 8, 2018 in Aberdeen, United Kingdom.
(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

The Old Firm are nowhere near as dominant as they once were and there could be a new champions for the first time in decades.

You can’t help but feel McInnes will be at Pittodrie until it is closed completely.

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