Ali McCann is available this summer for offers of around £1m, according to Alan Nixon in the Sun on Sunday [27/06, page 61].
Nixon claims that Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill is keen to take McCann to the Championship. Hull City and Swansea have also been credited with an interest.
It’s stated that Stoke are trying to raise the cash in order to sign McCann. However, Celtic have already had two scouting missions on the player last term.
Firstly, Tosh McKinlay watched McCann in action against Motherwell [The Courier]. Celtic would then run the rule over the Northern Irishman in the Scottish Cup semi-final against St Mirren in May [Sunday Post, print edition, 09/05, back page].
St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has already gone on record regarding how much he would want for McCann. He said he wanted north of £1.75m [BBC]. However, Nixon believes they’re ready to listen to offers £750k less than their record sale.
Signing Ali McCann for £1m gives Celtic real flexibility
It’s still difficult to see us pulling off a deal like this for £1m. Sure, St Johnstone is hardly a club that can demand top figures for their best players. But after two cup wins, they should be in a position to hold onto their top talents. At least where finances are concerned.
McCann, a box-to-box midfielder, is surely too valuable for Saints to let go for such a nominal fee. It looks more likely that £1m would be a starting point with room for negotiation north of that.
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Even so, if Celtic could land for McCann for £1m to £1.5m, it takes a lot of pressure off of any deal. Supporters wouldn’t be demanding he come in and make an impact immediately due to the size of his fee. Celtic could even send him back to Perth for another year or send him on loan elsewhere.
Celtic would have some real flexibility to develop him with some added patience. Granted, there’s no guarantee Ange Postecoglou sees him as an ideal fit. Nor is there any certainty that McCann wants to move to Parkhead over a potential Championship switch.
There is plenty surrounding this potential deal that’s still unknown. Celtic will have completely different personnel in place both in the dugout and in their recruitment team. Whether McCann is still even a target is questionable.
For now, however, he looks as though he could be snapped up for a bargain price. All eyes on Celtic then.