Jim Goodwin intends to reduce the age profile of Aberdeen’s squad and strengthen “in every department” this summer.
The Dons have endured a grim season and have finished in the bottom six of the cinch Premiership.
Goodwin, who replaced Stephen Glass as manager in February, is preparing for a busy summer rebuild at Pittodrie as he bids to revive the club’s fortunes.
“We need to improve in every department,” he said. “We’ve conceded far too many goals as a group so we need to make sure we’re better defensively next season.
“We need to bring the age of the squad down. We’ve had 10 or 11 over 30 years old in the squad. I’m not ageist in the slightest but I think we’ve got too many in that category.
“We need to try and sign players who are in that peak age between 23 and 28, where they’re at their best. We’ve got to try and strengthen every area of the pitch.
“We want to bring in a better quality of player that’s going to give us the best opportunity of being at the top end of the table, challenging with the big boys and going long into the cup competitions.”
Goodwin gave a further update on Cristian Ramirez’s situation as he explained that he has still had no indication that the Aberdeen striker – who has scored 15 goals this term – intends to leave Pittodrie this summer.
The 31-year-old’s wife sparked speculation when she hinted in a recent social media post that they were returning to America. The fact the striker reacted angrily to being substituted in last weekend’s victory over Dundee added to the notion that Ramirez is unhappy at Pittodrie.
“Cristian’s contracted to Aberdeen for another season and neither him nor his representatives have been in touch with me or anybody else in the football department to tell us he doesn’t want to be here,” said Goodwin.
“Cristian’s scored some important goals in the first half of the season and obviously there was a bit of disappointment when Stephen Glass was relieved of his duties because he brought Cristian to the club, so that’s only natural.
“I do things a bit differently (to Glass) but I have to say Cristian has been completely on board with everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s had a real busy period because when he came from the MLS to Scotland (last summer) he had no real rest period and I’ve just felt in the last few weeks we’ve seen a bit of tiredness, which is only natural.
“We have to try to protect him which is why sometimes he comes off a bit earlier or doesn’t start a game. But Cristian’s fine. As far as I’m aware, he wants to be here and until I hear otherwise, that will remain the case.”