PEDRO CAIXINHA has spoken of his admiration for out-of-contract Aberdeen skipper Ryan Jack as he plots his summer transfer strategy.

The midfielder is free to leave Pittodrie at the end of the campaign and has been linked with a move to MLS side Columbus Crew.

But Caixinha has also been keeping tabs on Jack ahead of a crucial close season that could see the Gers boss overhaul his Light Blues squad.

Jack is set to miss out when the Dons make the trip to Ibrox tomorrow night and Caixinha is a keen admirer of the 25-year-old.

“I scout and assess a lot of Scottish players, at least those who play more against us,” he said when asked if Jack was a player he could see in his team next season.

“Jack has not played for the last two of three matches – if I am not wrong – and maybe he is not playing against us.

“But he is one player that because of his age, because of his quality and because of what he has done in the last two seasons, is a player that I like.

“There are maybe six or seven more like Jack that we assessed. He is a good player. Young and Scottish.

"I like his consistency, although he has missed a few games recently. I like his leadership as captain at a young age.

"I like the way he sees the game, more or less, and gives the out ball in the build-up. He gives a balance to the deal when it's attacking.

"There are some points for him to divide a game and get more involved in the second stage of the offence phase. So that's what I like about him.

"(He brings aggression to midfield) especially at moments when you need balance.

"Players can be released in attack when they know other players are giving them cover. We have struggled with that, definitely.

"For example, the last goal we conceded comes from a poor line of cover."