John McGinn is currently plying his trade in the Premier League with Aston Villa – but it could have been very different if ‘red tape’ hadn’t got in the way.

The Scotland star has enjoyed a great rise in football, coming through the St Mirren academy before moving to Hibs, form at Easter Road earning him a move to Aston Villa in 2018, where he has now made over 100 appearances. But when his Buddies deal was coming to an end, the chance to go to America with Houston Dynamo appeared.

Carlisle United v St Mirren - Pre Season Friendly

McGinn could have opted for the MLS. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

It was signed and sealed, but his America deal was halted, allowing McGinn to go and have the career he’s had to date (Villa TV): “It was a difficult one. I was out of contract but St Mirren were due training compensation and rightly so but, at that point, it was £250,000-plus because I had been there since I was seven years of age.

“So, at that point, it came to the stage where both parties agreed it was best I moved on for a number of reasons but no-one would pay the compensation fee. At that point, you’re thinking, ‘Ah! What do I do?’.

“You’re then hoping St Mirren agree something cheaper which wasn’t something they were keen to do. I then tried something different and went over to America where I could have went for free to Houston Dynamo.

Sheffield United v Aston Villa - Premier League

His Aston Villa move may not have happened. (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

“It would have been a massive step for me at the time because I was still young. But I agreed to sign and agreed the contract but red tape stopped it. I don’t know if that was a sign… But, at that point, if you would have told me I would have been a Premier League player at Aston Villa it would have been surreal.”

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