Championship outfit Aston Villa have beaten Celtic to the signing of John McGinn from Hibernian.
Celtic matched Villa’s offer after having three bids rejected earlier in the summer but the midfielder was already down in Birmingham and had been sold on a move to the Sky Bet Championship club following talks with manager Steve Bruce.
The Scotland midfielder has signed a four-year contract after Villa paid an undisclosed fee, which is believed to be £2.75million with potential add-ons.
McGinn’s former club, St Mirren, will receive a third of the fee as part of the deal that took the midfielder to Easter Road in 2015.
The 23-year-old said in a live interview on Villa’s YouTube channel: “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.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers had made it clear McGinn was one of his top summer targets but Bruce had the advantage of pitching for his club over dinner on Tuesday night after Villa had a bid accepted first.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) August 8, 2018
McGinn, whose grandfather, Jack McGinn, was a Celtic chairman, added: “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.”