Mackay-Steven is set to become a free agent after US MLS side New York City declined the option to retain the winger for the 2021 season.
The 30-year-old Scotland international’s contract officially ends with New York on January 1.
Mackay-Steven starred for Aberdeen for two seasons before leaving for the Big Apple side last summer.
McInnes was keen to retain Mackay-Steven when his Aberdeen contract expired, but the attacker opted to join New York City.
McInnes, whose side face Motherwell away tomorrow night, said: “We didn’t want to lose Gary in the first place.
“His numbers were good for us. For us, anything we can or can’t do will be dependent on maybe being able to move one or two players on.
“We’ve got one or two positions prioritised and players within that.
“But I think we would always be open to bringing good players to the club.
“Gary’s exactly that.
“However, there are other positions that we maybe need to try and focus on more to be honest.”
Aberdeen gaffer McInnes has previously taken players back to the club following their exit, setting the precedent for a Mackay-Steven return.
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