Alan Stubbs delighted for former pupil John McGinn after big move to Aston Villa

St Mirren manager Alan Stubbs says he will take more satisfaction from seeing John McGinn earn his big move to Aston Villa than the windfall it will net the Buddies.

Stubbs was the man who signed the 23-year-old for Hibernian three years ago when he negotiated a deal that included a 33 per cent sell-on clause for Saints.

Now in charge in Paisley, he is due to reap the rewards of that agreement after the Scotland midfielder clinched his Villa Park switch in a move reportedly worth £3million.

Stubbs is already making plans on how to spend the cash but he insists his excitement cannot compete with his delight for his former pupil.

“Honestly, I was more delighted for John,” said the Buddies boss. “I knew no matter what happened with his move, our club was going to get a financial sweetener, which is fantastic following all the hard work that was done early on in John’s career.

“But more importantly I was just made up for John.

“He rang me last night to say thanks very much but I said to him, ‘Don’t be stupid, thank yourself as you’re the one who has got this far and now you’re getting your rewards. The rest of us were just there to guide you along’.”

Stubbs saw first hand just how influential McGinn can be in full flight as he helped inspire Hibs to Scottish Cup glory in 2016 and was not surprised to see Celtic make moves to land the battler.

But he is stunned the midfielder was overlooked by clubs from England’s top flight.

He said: “I just can’t believe no-one in the Premiership down south has taken him. In my eyes he’s a Premier League player all day long and he’s the best bit of business anyone had done all summer.

“He could end up being a real bargain for Villa. He could end up being a revelation. He connects so easily with fans because of his style of play and it’s a perfect suit for him at Villa.

“Celtic were in for him too and they would have been a great fit for him too. I’m sure Brendan Rodgers will be disappointed but I’m just delighted for John.”

Stubbs has already used some of the cash coming his way to land Birmingham striker Nicolai Brock-Madsen on a six-month loan deal.

And the Saints boss hopes there will be more to follow before the Scottish transfer window shuts on August 31.

“In terms of a figure (for McGinn’s move) I still don’t know what’s involved but I’m hoping the board will be really kind and give me a bit of it to strengthen as we need to,” he said.

“The fact we still have the best part of three weeks left of the window gives us a little bit of room for manoeuvre but I would like any moves to be done as early as possible.

“If we have to wait for the right one or two – or three – then I’m prepared to wait.

“I’m pleased to have got Nicolai in. He’s a big lad and we’re expecting him to hold the ball up and bring others into play. He also knows where the back of the net is which is important too.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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