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Summer 2021 transfer thread.

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40 minutes ago, Scott_M said:

More hilarity. Decent player McGinn but not for anywhere near £50m.

 

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Liverpool were curious.

Manager Jurgen Klopp wanted to know whether John McGinn ever stopped running on a match day.

It sounds funny but the German was serious, so much so that he asked the question to his Scotland left-back Andy Robertson, who knows McGinn well from the international set-up.

The day after Aston Villa smashed Liverpool 7-2 last October, the two players met up for Scotland duty. They discussed that astonishing game at Villa Park, as well as Klopp’s comments. It later emerged that some of Liverpool’s players were particularly impressed with McGinn, too.

And so, for the second season running, the midfielder had entered into the thoughts of one of England’s top clubs.

In 2019, it was Manchester United, encouraged by their former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, to take a closer look at his all-action countryman. Now it was Klopp, and Liverpool, the reigning Premier League champions.

Such talk can be unnerving for clubs who are fearful of losing their best players. Villa, however, are no longer a selling club.

They have kept all their top performers since the 2018 takeover by Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, and this summer there are again no plans to actively move on any key players.

The situation around the club’s £100 million-rated captain Jack Grealish is a little more nuanced, with the Manchester City interest growing stronger and the huge numbers attached to that interest. As a generational talent, Villa are aware Grealish’s ambitions may outstrip their realistic aims and that he could potentially move for a record-breaking fee.

However, conversations around McGinn are not expected to get up and running. For Villa to even entertain the idea, bidding would have to start at £45 million to £50 million.

That’s how highly Villa rate the 26-year-old, who was signed for just £2.75 million from Edinburgh club Hibernian in the summer of 2018 and started all but one of their 38 league games last season. Premier League icon Yaya Toure also spoke passionately about McGinn’s qualities this week in his first column for The Athletic.

grealish-mcginn
 
Grealish and McGinn shake hands at the end of last week’s England v Scotland match (Photo: Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Still, the interest from Liverpool is very real.

In 2019, an impressed Klopp said: “John McGinn, what a super player he is.”

Liverpool’s manager has been further encouraged by what he has seen from the Scot since. Yet interest in a player is one thing, actually moving to try to sign him is another.

There’s no chance of Liverpool landing McGinn for the £20 million fee mentioned in newspaper reports over the weekend.

Whether it was his performance in that 7-2 win, or just Klopp’s general interest which made Villa twitchy, the player was handed a new five-year deal in December — just over a year after his last successful contract renegotiation. His value is therefore protected for as long as his impressive displays continue. And as we’ve seen for both club and country, he’s still going strong.

Also, as much as Liverpool need a midfield replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who has moved to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer at the end of his Anfield contract, there’s a requirement to sell some of their unwanted or unsettled players before they can buy more.

If Liverpool can raise funds from moving on the likes of Marko Grujic, Divock Origi, Harry Wilson and Neco Williams, the landscape might change. For now though, senior sources at the Merseyside club insist they aren’t currently in the market for a midfielder.

With Jordan Henderson returning to fitness, Fabinho able to operate more regularly in the holding role after filling in at centre-back last season because of injuries and Thiago expected to play a bigger part in his second season, Klopp still has quality options. The fitness and form of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are a concern, though.

McGinn, who is close friends with Robertson, brings more than just energy and enthusiasm to the teams he represents. He’s developing into a real leader too. His goals from a deep-lying midfield role last season weren’t bad either. Add those three to the 10 he scored in his first two seasons in Birmingham combined and it’s easy to understand why the top clubs in the country have taken note.

McGinn, Villa
 
McGinn holds off Declan Rice in customary style (Photo: Alex Morton/UEFA via Getty Images)

When Liverpool do get around to replacing Wijnaldum, McGinn could come back into the conversation for the reasons previously mentioned, as well as his strength at both carrying and passing the ball forward from deep positions.

Manchester United’s fondness for McGinn is still there, too. His name often crops up at Old Trafford, although there is no sign they will pursue him at this stage.

All of which, of course, leaves Villa in a decent position to shut out all the noise and keep hold of one of their most influential and popular players for at least another season.

The past campaign was another one of success for McGinn. Injury-free and undroppable in head coach Dean Smith’s mind, he played his part in a comfortable second season back in the Premier League for Villa.

There were times when he wasn’t at his free-flowing best, largely because Villa couldn’t quite find the right balance in midfield. Smith moved the Scot from his No 8 role to a more defensive one, but he was sometimes left exposed by the shortcomings of Douglas Luiz, the player he most frequently played alongside. McGinn also had to cover extra ground in some of the games Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley started at No 10.

Towards the end of the campaign, though, McGinn was back to his best. Playing alongside Marvelous Nakamba also appeared to help him express himself a little more going forward.

That he kept his place for the season — he only missed one league game through suspension — was a testament to his character and the trust Smith has in him.

McGinn is a player who pulls out his very best in the big games. He got the winner in the Championship play-off final against Derby County and was scoring goals against the big teams away from home at the start of 2019-20 when supporters were still allowed in grounds before the pandemic. For those who know him well, it was no surprise to see him shining when fans were back for the final home game of last season.

It’s that ability to run the show with a standout performance that makes McGinn so popular at Villa Park.

The Liverpool interest may grow stronger in time but, for now, he is a Villa player focused on helping his club push towards the European places next season.

 

That is a joint piece from Pearce and Gregg Evans who covers Villa for the athletic. 

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2 hours ago, Scott_M said:

Hahahaha - funny guys.

 

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I’d go for Maddison before Grealish. He’d be the more moneyball transfer. Grealish is the better dribbler but Maddison has better end-product.

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1 hour ago, Scott_M said:

More hilarity. Decent player McGinn but not for anywhere near £50m.

 

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This looks like it is being pushed by Villa! Who obviously want to cash in on him. 

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Echo and James Pearce say we’re not signing any FM 2020 Wonderkids but may get a few regens. I’m plumping for Caracas Maracas winger from FC Maydup in Peru. Bongo Colorado is good too.

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17 hours ago, MegadriveMan said:

 

He turned United down though to go to Dortmund? 

Yeah i was surprised by that at the time too. Once there were reports of him being shown around uniteds training ground i thought he was nailed on to go there. I guess he chose Dortmund because of playing time. I still think he'll end up at united though which is a shame because he looks like a real talent.

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It’s worrying we’re not being linked with a forward. We don’t need a centre mid. We have Fabinho, Hendo, Thiago, Keita, Milner, Ox, and Jones for three positions. It’d be idiotic to waste more cash there unless we sell a midfielder. 

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Just now, aRdja said:

It’s worrying we’re not being linked with a forward. We don’t need a centre mid. We have Fabinho, Hendo, Thiago, Keita, Milner, Ox for three positions.

Ha Ha very funny

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1 hour ago, aRdja said:

It’s worrying we’re not being linked with a forward. We don’t need a centre mid. We have Fabinho, Hendo, Thiago, Keita, Milner, Ox, and Jones for three positions. It’d be idiotic to waste more cash there unless we sell a midfielder. 

Are you joking? We’ve been linked to about 100 forwards. The club haven’t come out and explicitly said they want X,Y and Z but they never have. The Daka links always looked a bit manufactured, I’m sure we were watching him the same way we’d watch any promising player. 
 

As far as midfielders go I can see Klopp liking McGinn, he’s got a touch of Milner about him but never at that quoted price. He’s a nice player but the hard working industrious midfielder with a nice bit of technique is fairly easy to come by. If your shopping at our level. We shouldn’t be overpaying. What sort of season did Cantwell have?

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3 hours ago, Scott_M said:

More hilarity. Decent player McGinn but not for anywhere near £50m.

 

4D865B0D-5E4F-485B-9253-B2648432CF64.png

You call that hilarity but that's a legit source, whereas you seriously posted a tweet above from "AnfieldKnowledge".

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3 minutes ago, 3 Stacks said:

You call that hilarity but that's a legit source, whereas you seriously posted a tweet above from "AnfieldKnowledge".


Yeah, because serious posts always start with “Hahahahahaha - funny guys”. 
 

I know the guy is a legit source, I seriously doubt we’ll be spending £50m on McGinn. 

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1 hour ago, Mil-ing Around said:

Yeah i was surprised by that at the time too. Once there were reports of him being shown around uniteds training ground i thought he was nailed on to go there. I guess he chose Dortmund because of playing time. I still think he'll end up at united though which is a shame because he looks like a real talent.

On his social media accounts he seems a big fan of Stevie G. Also chose him over Rooney as favourite player to play alongside. Could be he's not as Manc as his old fella. Got to love a bit of teenage rebellion!

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39 minutes ago, Jarvinja Ilnow said:

On his social media accounts he seems a big fan of Stevie G. Also chose him over Rooney as favourite player to play alongside. Could be he's not as Manc as his old fella. Got to love a bit of teenage rebellion!

Brendan Rodgers getting Stevie to call Debbie Alli was one thing but Kloppo coaxing him out of retirement to lure Bellingham would be a bit of a surprise.

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2 hours ago, aRdja said:

It’s worrying we’re not being linked with a forward. We don’t need a centre mid. We have Fabinho, Hendo, Thiago, Keita, Milner, Ox, and Jones for three positions. It’d be idiotic to waste more cash there unless we sell a midfielder. 

We have 4 top quality forwards in Mane, Firmino, Salah and Jota. If Shaq stays and Harvey Elliott is as good and talented as we hope, we have sufficient cover up front. Ox, Milner and Keita (I still have some small semblance of hope that he'll prove his worth) are not likely to produce anything of note in midfield.

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42 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

It would appear mcginn is no more than a smokescreen for mbappe. 

 

https://www.teamtalk.com/news/liverpool-presented-huge-opportunity-kylian-mbappe-asks-to-leave-psg

 

 

And Mbappe is just a smokescreen for *insert young striker from the u18 here who will save the club millions*

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