Motherwell manager Graham Alexander says he wasn’t pleased with the timing of Aberdeen announcing the signing of Fir Park captain Declan Gallagher.

It was revealed by the Pittodrie club last week that the Motherwell centre-back would move on to Aberdeen upon the expiry of his contract in North Lanarkshire this summer. Gallagher arrived at Motherwell in 2019 from Livingston and was made club captain at the start of the season.

Gallagher will move to Aberdeen in the summer.

Gallagher will move to Aberdeen in the summer. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Asked if he would have preferred the announcement of Gallagher’s switch at the end of the season, Alexander said: “Yes, being honest. I didn’t see the reason to do that. I think it just brings another distraction to the end of the season.

“I don’t think our position or the players’ was taken into account to be honest, but we can only control how we do things and how we behave, not what other clubs do. Alan Burrows (Motherwell chief executive) did contact them to ask them to leave it until the end of the season. We asked politely, but they declined politely and that’s how it is.

“We deal with it. There’s worse things that happen in the world. We aren’t going to throw our toys out of the pram or cry about it, but I don’t think it’s an ideal situation for us or the player. I haven’t spoke to Dec since the announcement.

“I haven’t asked him about it. I go on what I see from people around me and all I want to see is as many players motivated to win the next two games as possible.”

Not happy with the announcement.

Not happy with the announcement. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Alexander says the Scotland international’s exit was on the cards from January but that won’t determine whether he plays in the final two Scottish Premiership matches: “In my conversations with Declan around that time – going on from the speculation around him in January – we did speak about the possibility of him signing a pre-contract elsewhere.

The same principle stands the same as it did then. I said to him that if it does get done at some point, if I don’t see any deviation from the way he behaves or plays, nothing changes for me.

“It’s something as a manager in Scotland you have to come to terms with, pre-contracts being signed. It’s not ideal that it’s out publicly but that is not our doing. You have to deal with a lot of things throughout the season and this is just one of those.”

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