One under-discussed potential transfer target for Manchester United this summer could be Aston Villa’s John McGinn.
Last summer McGinn was tipped for a move to United, with The Sun claiming Sir Alex Ferguson had urged United to take a look, being close friends with the Scotland international’s grandad.
But a move was never likely last July. McGinn was riding the crest of a promotion wave with Aston Villa, who were demanding a £50 million fee for the midfielder. He signed a new contract a month later.
A year on, McGinn’s situation is different.
Villa cannot with a straight face demand £50 million for McGinn any longer, in this financial climate.
The club themselves are balanced precariously over the relegation precipice and this will mean selling their star players.
McGinn began the season in style, with a goal on opening day against Spurs, only for injury to derail his campaign.
He netted three goals in 18 games before Christmas and then didn’t play before the season came to a halt.
He was a big miss for Villa as their form suffered in 2020.This injury has also taken him out of the spotlight, and United should consider a move if a sensible agreement can be found with Villa on price.
McGinn’s performance against United in the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in December showed what he was about, creating three chances and winning five tackles. He is a midfielder with a bit of everything.
McGinn or Grealish?
One of the big questions for United and McGinn is the question of where he would fit. He is an all action midfielder in the mould of a Bryan Robson. United would create space for him.
The fact Andreas Pereira has had to start as a deeper central midfielder this season shows the need for more quality in the squad.
McGinn would be a depth signing, an ideal alternative to Scott McTominay or Fred. Many Scotland fans rate McGinn higher than McTominay, with his 7 goals in 21 international games helping him to stand out.
The Glaswegian turns 26 in October and would be a signing to help United get stronger immediately.
This past season injury meant the Premier League did not see the best of him. This of course could help United get a deal done, if he remains of interest.
The spanner in the works is whether he should be more of a priority than Jack Grealish. It is hard to imagine United doing a double deal.
Grealish is more of a creative player, a midfielder with more of an X-factor to decide games, with seven goals and six assists in the top flight this season.
McGinn has three goals and two assists, although did manage seven goals and nine assists last season in the Championship, narrowly bettering Grealish’s record the same season.
Grealish plays more further forward, and is more suited to United’s need for creativity. He can play in a position to deputise for Bruno Fernandes, or play on the left wing.
But if United have other ideas for that creative position, and there are plenty, then McGinn could be the player United target from Villa this summer.
Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t always get it right with his signings, but when he did, it often resulted in silverware. Perhaps United should trust him one more time.
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