Talk of Manchester United plotting a £50 million ($63m) raid on Aston Villa for John McGinn comes as “no surprise” to former Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs.
The Scotland international is among those said to be registering on the recruitment radar at Old Trafford.
He fits the bill for the Red Devils, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having overseen a switch in focus towards the pursuit of exciting young talent.
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McGinn is just 24 years of age and is considered to still have plenty of potential to unlock.
He has no Premier League experience to his name, but has graced the top tier in Scotland and helped Villa to promotion out of the Championship last season.
A move to United would represent another sizeable step up in class, but Stubbs – who worked with the talented midfielder at Easter Road – believes McGinn is destined for big things.
He told Edinburgh News of the latest transfer rumours: “It’s no surprise.
“John has gone from strength to strength every time he has stepped up from club to club.
“His move from St Mirren to Hibs was what he needed and then in going from Hibs to Aston Villa he has really taken his game to another level and that’s all credit to him.”
Celtic had been in the running to land McGinn prior to his move to England in 2018, but Stubbs claims he was never “really Brendan Rodgers’ type of player”.
He added: “John’s not really a pretty or elegant player. He’s a bit of a rough diamond, a throw-back, the sort of player that’s missing from the game.
“There’s too many of those players who look the part rather than those who play the part.”
It could be argued that £50m is rarely spent on players of that ilk, but Stubbs believes McGinn would represent a sound investment for anyone considering an approach.
The ex-Bolton and Everton defender added: “To be honest, the figure is irrelevant, it’s only what someone is prepared to pay for a player.
“But what you can say is that John’s very much on an upward curve.”
McGinn made 44 appearances for Villa last season, scoring seven goals and recording 10 assists as Dean Smith’s side booked their place back in the big time with a play-off final victory over Derby.