Three alternatives should Celtic fail to sign John McGinn
As the Hibernian star continues to contemplate his future, we take a look at three alternatives to Celtic target John McGinn.
Speculation continues to develop almost by the hour on McGinn, who grew up a Celtic supporter and has strong connections to the Parkhead side.
However, if the 24-year-old were to choose Villa over Brendan Rodgers’ double-treble winners, here are three replacements Celtic could go for.
HARRY COCHRANE (Hearts)
Celtic need just look across Edinburgh to find an adequate replacement for McGinn in Harry Cochrane of Hearts.
The 17-year-old made 22 appearances for the Jambos in his debut season in the first-team. He then notched his only goal against Celtic in their 4-0 win over the champions back in November.
The youngster put in some terrific shifts in the engine room for Hearts last season. He also remains one of the country’s brightest young prospects.
Cochrane is seven years younger than McGinn, and remains a real raw talent. He would be a long-term project for the champions. However, with Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham both looking as though they have a long-term future as a pair in them, Celtic would have the time to kill to allow Cochrane to develop on loan.
This would be a highly unlikely signing, but Cochrane is a player with a huge future ahead of him, and Rodgers could beat rivals to the pump by notching him now.
LUCAS LEIVA (Lazio)
Rodgers has history with Lucas Leiva after managing the Brazilian during his tenure at Liverpool.
The pair got on very well and Leiva played some of his best football under Rodgers several years ago.
Liverpool’s former midfield terrier is a real dogged-style footballer. He is known for getting stuck in and making sure opposition players can’t get their flair men on the ball.
Steven Gerrard and Rangers failed in a bid for the 31-year-old earlier on this summer after failing to have the funds available.
The midfielder was Lazio’s Player of the Year last season and would be highly-priced. However, Celtic have the money available to shell out on quality, with talent and high-level experience something Lucas would add to the current squad.
JOE ALLEN (Stoke City)
Reports earlier this year had Stoke City star Joe Allen wanting a move to Parkhead to be reunited with old manager Rodgers, and the midfielder would certainly be a valuable addition to the current Celtic squad.
Rodgers gave Allen his biggest move in football when he signed him for his new-look Liverpool side back in 2012.
Recruitment drives eventually forced the midfielder out of the club after Rodgers left. He now plies his trade as one of the main hitters at Stoke.
Allen would provide strong experience in the midfield and real energy at both ends of the pitch.
The downside is that the Welsh international signed a new four-year contract with Stoke back in June. Therefore, Celtic would have to stump up the cash if they were to secure a player Rodgers has always admired.