Aston Villa tonight beat Celtic to the signing of John McGinn from Hibernian.
Celtic had three bids rejected over the summer but after a stalemate emerged they had to act quickly to match the Villa bid which was just £750k higher than the third Celtic offer.
However by that time the deal was running away from Celtic as Villa boss Steve Bruce turned on the charm to sell the Championship side to the Celtic supporting midfielder.
St Mirren are due a sizeable slice of the transfer fee, believed to be 33% after selling the midfielder to Hibs in 2015.
Celtic used their controlled fans media to counter the frustration expressed by manager Brendan Rodgers in today’s print media and the BBC are reporting this evening, according to James Forrest on The Celtic Blog, that the board are unhappy with the manager’s comments.
If you are to believe the controlled narrative Celtic’s latest bid was accepted before Villa made theirs and McGinn went to the Midlands because he was guaranteed a start there whereas he’d have to wait for his chance at Celtic.
The 23-year-old Celtic supporter, in a live interview on Villa’s YouTube channel explained how his move happened.
“I’m proud to join a fantastic football club and I’m really looking forward to getting started. It’s been a crazy few days and I’m just glad to get it done.
“I had the phone call on Monday night. I was wandering around the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and jumped on a flight and had a look about the place, met the manager and coaching staff and got a real good feeling about the place.
“I knew I would fit in, I knew this was the place I wanted to come. The one that got it for me was when I sat in the stand at Villa Park and I could picture myself playing there. It’s such a brilliant stadium and the fans are so passionate. It just felt right and I can’t wait to get my teeth into it.
“With new owners coming in, and the manager has a real vision for the club, and he sold it to me well.
“Myself, my agents and family sat with Steve and had a great chat and he was very honest and made me feel really welcome, and made it clear how much he wanted me as a player.
“That’s a great thing to hear, a guy that has played at the top level and coached hundreds of games as well at a high level. He is respected, everyone says good things about him and I think I can have a good relationship with him, and he knows I will bring 100 per cent in every training session and match.
“It was a nice meal and thankfully after that I made the right call.”
It is not losing McGinn that is the problem here. It is the failure of the club to deliver on Brendan Rodgers very modest target of signing a player from Hibs.
Rodgers is the best thing that has happened to Celtic since Larsson arrived.
Him losing faith in Celtic would be a disaster. A absolute disaster. And the board are unhappy!