COMMENT By Graham Hill
MANCHESTER United may want to buy John McGinn – but the truth is that Villa do not need to be a selling club any more.
Okay, in time, McGinn may eventually make the trip to Old Trafford – but surely not this summer.
He is more likely to sign a new contract at Villa.
We only have to wind the clock back 12 months to when Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris became Villa’s new owners.
Tottenham had been looking to buy Jack Grealish all summer – and if Villa’s financial problems had continued then he would have left for North London at a knockdown price.
The new regime refused to sell and a disappointed Grealish had to stay.
But the rest is history as the Villa skipper led his side back to the Premier League.
And when that happened, Edens and Sawiris hinted at a bright future which did NOT include selling off prized assets.
Villa have done that too many times in the past. Anyone who has starred for the club inevitably seems to have left as soon as a ‘bigger’ cub comes along.
But now Villa have big bucks in the bank, and they do not need to sell a Grealish or McGinn to finance new signings.
Take a look across the Midlands at Leicester City where huge financial backing has allowed them to charge top price for their best players – and delay their departure until they get their asking price.
Leicester can slap an £80million price tag on Harry Maguire’s head knowing that they will either cash in big time – or get to keep an England international.
The same applies to Villa now. Dean Smith is building for the future knowing he has the funds to do it.
Selling McGinn makes no sense, not even at £50million.
And what about the player himself? He will have seen Grealish show no sign of wanting to leave now that Villa are back in the top flight.
There are exciting times ahead at Villa Park and McGinn surely wants to be a part of it after being transformed as a player last season.
Yes, United is a huge attraction. But they are in the middle of a huge squad rebuild which is not guaranteed to work. McGinn has yet to play in the Premier League and the pressure on him to deliver would be huge.
A big pay packet is another factor but Villa are already working on a new deal for McGinn and it would be a surprise if he did not sign.
These are different times for Villa, and the top six will not be able to simply cherry pick their best players.