John McGinn could have quadrupled his wages with a move to Nottingham Forest when he was still at Hibernian, according to the Daily Record – but the Aston Villa talisman wasn’t too disappointed when a potential switch to the City Ground broke down.
McGinn has come a long way in the blinking of an eye. It feels like only yesterday that he was being linked with a bargain move to England’s second tier but now, heading into 2020, he is now an established star both in the Premier League and for the Scottish national team with Aston Villa valuing the all-action Scot at £50 million (The Sun).
McGinn was playing for Hibs at the time and the Scottish Premiership side batted away a pair of bids from the two-time European champions, denying McGinn the chance to receive an eye-watering pay rise by swapping Edinburgh for Nottingham.
But it speaks volumes about the affable midfielder that he never complained, got his head down and continued to let his football do the talking.
"I'll never forget the text he sent back," said Hibs sporting director Graeme Mathie, discussing how McGinn responded after that money-spinning move to Nottingham Forest broke down.
"He came back and said: 'Look, I get it, this is football, it's no problem at all. I'm loving being at Hibs and I want to have the best season of my career and hopefully get a move to a good club'.
"Let's be honest, while John was committed to Hibs, somebody was potentially offering to give him four or five times his money to take him to the English Championship and us, as a club, had said no to that.
"I thought that was an unbelievable thing for a young man to say."
12 months after Forest missed out, McGinn finally moved south of the border to join Aston Villa, dragging the Midlands giants back to the Premier League during a stunning debut season in claret and blue.
Forest fans everywhere would be forgiven for wondering where they would be right now if McGinn had pulled on the Garibaldi red instead.
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