Bruce, though, has suggested that he knew right from the start that Aberdeen were not going to sell the 21-year-old defender.
The Scottish Sun reported on transfer deadline day last month that Villa’s £7 million bid for the Scotland international had been turned down by Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen.
Bruce told The Birmingham Mail about McKenna: “Well, it’s not entirely true (that we left it late).
“I spoke to Derek McInnes ten days before (the window closed). But the stance was that he wasn’t for sale.
“It was like us with Grealish - he wasn’t for sale in this window. We didn’t like to hear that, but a bit like what we did with Jack, they did with Scott McKenna.”
McKenna is one of the best young central defenders in Scotland, and the Aberdeen star would have a great signing for Villa, not just for this season but for the coming years.
The 21-year-old is still improving and developing, and perhaps Villa should look at the Scotland international again in the January transfer window or next summer.
Villa do look short defensively at the moment, and it would not come as a surprise if the Championship club do go back for McKenna midway through the season.