Manchester United have been handed a potential boost in their pursuit of Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn in spite of Steven Gerrard’s reluctance to sell the player ahead of next season. The Red Devils were linked with a move for McGinn during the January transfer window but failed to act on their interest in the 27-year-old’s services before the all-important deadline.
United have been in the market for a new deep-lying midfielder since the end of last season but have been unable to strengthen their ranks in the position as of yet.
They were said to have originally identified McGinn as a target back in 2019 as a result of his assured performances in the middle of the park for Villa at Championship level.
The Red Devils have since been tipped to launch a summer move for the Scot, who has registered 21 appearances in all competitions so far this season.
However, their plans appeared to take a hit when Gerrard underlined his desire to keep hold of McGinn for the foreseeable future last month.
“We are certainly not a club that is looking to sell, our intention is to keep John McGinn here,” the Villa boss told reporters when quizzed on the player’s situation.
“We don’t want to be a selling club unless there is a situation, as with [Jack] Grealish, which works itself out if you like.
“We want [McGinn] to remain a Villa player and we can’t be any clearer on that. We love the player, we love the human being and we want to help him.
“We certainly see it as a compliment when our best players, or any of our players, are linked with big moves away.”
It seems as though Villa could be warming to the possibility of selling McGinn, though, after drawing up plans to reinforce their midfield options with a big purchase in the summer window.
The west Midlands outfit are weighing up a move for Leicester City enforcer Wilfred Ndidi in a development that has seen United’s hierarchy sit up and take notice, according to The Mirror.
It is claimed that Red Devils chiefs are ‘on red alert’ with regards to McGinn and could be encouraged to follow up their interest with an official bid if Villa decide to chase Ndidi, who is likely to command a fee in the region of £50million.
Gerrard is reportedly keen on bringing a new midfielder to Villa Park as a matter of urgency, which suggests that his firm stance on McGinn’s future could be subject to change over the coming months.
It remains to be seen whether United can eventually thrash out a deal to sign the latter, who remains tied down to his current employers until the summer of 2025.
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Former Chelsea winger Joe Cole recently suggested that McGinn would represent a shrewd acquisition for United, with his single-minded approach to the game standing him in good stead to succeed at the club if he joins ahead of next season.
“You look at that club and you constantly hear noises about this player is unhappy because the manager said this and this player’s unhappy because he’s been given time off here and he didn’t want it and all this,” Cole told BT Sport.
“You just want lads like him through the door. First of all they have to be good enough and he’s certainly good enough as a footballer but that is so valuable for a manager in the current climate.
“You know you haven’t got to mollycoddle him, he’s going to come in and do his job. He’s not an Instagram footballer, he gets on with it and does his job.”
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