Former Aston Villa and current Newcastle boss takes his new side to Villa this weekend and inevitably, one of his signings for Villa came up and how John McGinn was close to being a Celtic player.
It was the saga of last season’s summer window when Celtic refused to make a quick deal with Hibernian for the midfielder most of the summer. With the club being the only serious bidder for McGinn, Peter Lawwell must have felt confident but Bruce claims the tide turned when Villa’s takeover went through.
“We nearly, if it wasn’t for the new owners coming in, we nearly didn’t do that, because we couldn’t afford it. Just at the right time, they came in and we whipped him away from Celtic.” Bruce told Birmingham Live.
Once Villa had the funds, their scouts and coaching staff insisted on getting McGinn into the club and when Celtic heard about it a last-ditch attempt to sign him was made but by then it was too late.
Bruce will now come up against John with Newcastle and has still been very complimentary of his former player.
“We always knew he was going to be a very good player, we didn’t know if I’m brutally honest, to be what he is now.”
John is a big Celtic fan but chose the Championship and the promise of a Premier League place – which Villa achieved in his first season with the club. His stock is high in England now. Every time the player scores, Celtic’s failed bid always comes up.