Newcastle are lining up a £30million bid for John McGinn if the Scottish midfielder suffers relegation with Aston Villa this season.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce is a big admirer of the 25-year-old and was Villa manager at the time when giving McGinn his big break in English football by signing him from Hibernian.
That was in the summer of 2018 when the man from Glasgow penned a four-year deal at Villa Park despite persistent interest from SPL champions Celtic.
McGinn has been a revelation at Villa, first helping them secure promotion to the Premier League last season with a series of impressive displays.
And he was an instant hit in the top flight of English football too, scoring after just nine minutes of his Premier League debut to put Villa 1-0 up at Tottenham on opening day before the hosts hit back to win 3-1.
McGinn then made it three goals in his first seven Premier League appearances with further strikes against Arsenal and Burnley.
In addition, the Scotland international has been in superb scoring form for his country. McGinn hit a hat-trick in the 6-0 home win over San Marino, scored the winner away to Cyprus and bagged two more in November’s 3-1 victory over Kazakhstan.
The initial fears that he’d be out for three months with a fractured ankle have been realised as he’d yet to return before the season was put on hold.
And with Villa second bottom of the table and facing the very real prospect of relegation, McGinn’s future with the Midlands outfit now looks uncertain.
Manchester United are reportedly one of the sides monitoring the situation and The Sun claim that Sir Alex Ferguson has been impressed with his fellow Scot and could put McGinn’s case to current Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, the Red Devils aren’t short of midfield options and that’s why Newcastle could be in pole position.
Bruce has a good relationship with McGinn and would be able to offer him the chance of regular first-team football.
Villa don’t want to lose one of their prized assets – especially if fellow midfielder Jack Grealish also leaves the club – but their hand could be forced if they drop back down to the Championship.
They’re currently two points behind fourth-bottom Watford although do have a game in hand.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have 35 points from 29 games and sit 13th, probably needing just two more wins to guarantee safety.