Celtic appeared to have come up with an ingenious way of securing the signature of John McGinn on the cheap.
According to the Daily Record, Celtic have had two bids for the 23-year-old Hibernian midfielder turned down this month, the second estimated to be worth £1.75 million. Hibs have now valued McGinn at £4 million.
But, rather than double their offer, it seemed Celtic would instead wait patiently to sign McGinn for free. The nine-time Scotland international is in the final year of his deal and will be out of contract next summer and the Hoops could there make a pre-contract agreement with him in January.
The Daily Record claimed Celtic were prepared to play the waiting game in order to avoid dishing out £4 million to sign their target. Although this is a major risk that could yet backfire in quite spectacular fashion.
It is believed that clubs from the first two divisions of English football are keeping a close watch on McGinn and one of those may well be Brighton and Hove Albion. Back in May, the Mail reported that the Seagulls were weighing up a £3 million bid for the energetic enforcer.
Should Brighton table that offer between now and the end of the transfer window – and they have an opportunity to do just that with their Scottish counterparts taking a back-seat for now – Celtic would be really up against it. After all, £3 million is almost double the bid Brendan Rodgers’ side have allegedly submitted table and far closer to Hibs’ valuation.