John McGinn is at the “level” required to represent Manchester United, says Steve Bruce, the Red Devils legend who took the Scotland international to Aston Villa.
Few in the English Championship knew much about the midfielder when he was lured away from Hibernian for just £2 million in the summer of 2018.
By the end of his debut campaign at Villa he had helped the club to promotion back to the Premier League and was attracting admiring glances from elsewhere.
That speculation refuses to go away, with it suggested that former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson is eager to see a fellow countryman at Old Trafford.
Bruce, who is now in charge at Newcastle, is not surprised by the rumours as he considers a creative playmaker to be of the necessary standard to represent a truly elite club.
He said when asked if McGinn would be ready for a move to United: "He is that level, yeah.
"From what he has done in 12 months, he can only improve. He scored twice again for Scotland the other night, so that's six in three games for them."
Villa were not the only side to have expressed interest in McGinn when an exit door swung open at Easter Road.
Nottingham Forest and Celtic were also heavily linked with an approach, but Bruce won the battle after moving discussions out of football circles.
He added: "A club like Villa - we didn't have £2m, but in the end we got him.
"How we got him out of Celtic I don't know because his grandfather was the chairman. It took a couple of games of golf at the Belfry with his dad until we could muster the money together!
"I am delighted for the kid because he is a smashing lad. He has to be one of my best-ever signings because he has a determination to do well.
"I wish I could find a few more like him that's for sure."
McGinn registered nine goals and 12 assists for Villa last season, as they secured promotion through the play-offs, and has found the target three times in the Premier League this term.