Michael O’Neill dismisses Stoke City links with St. Johnstone star Ali McCann
Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill has moved to play down links with St. Johnstone’s midfield star Ali McCann.
Stoke City are among the sides to have been said keen on a move for Northern Ireland international Ali McCann this summer.
The 21-year-old starred for Callum Davidson’s St. Johnstone last season in a thoroughly impressive campaign at McDiarmid Park, seeing him attracting interest south of the border.
However, amid the Potters’ rumoured interest in McCann, manager Michael O’Neill has moved to clear up any speculation regarding a potential move for the midfielder.
READ: Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill comments on club’s rumoured pursuit of Manchester City starlet
Speaking with Stoke on Trent Live, O’Neill moved to dismiss the links with McCann, insisting that there is nothing in the speculation.
He confirmed that while he is aware of the midfielder, McCann is not a player he is looking to bring to Stoke this summer.
“No, there’s nothing in that,” he said.
“I am constantly linked with players in Scotland because I lived there for a time.
“I obviously know Ali. He only started to emerge as I was coming to the end of my reign with Northern Ireland before stepping into this job but he’s a young and talented player who is getting a lot of rave reviews, but at this moment in time it’s not something we’re actively pursuing.”
With McCann not on the Potters’ radar, it will be interesting to see if the young midfielder lands a move elsewhere or if he remains with St. Johnstone.
Stoke’s current midfield options
McCann mainly operates as a central midfielder or attacking midfielder, an area where the Potters have a decent amount of options.
While Nick Powell is the club’s main number 10, the likes of Joe Allen, Mario Vrancic, Sam Clucas, Jordan Thompson and Tashan Oakley-Boothe all operate as central midfielders.
Following their opening day win over Reading, O’Neill will be looking to continue Stoke’s winning start to the season against Birmingham City.
Lee Bowyer’s side also won their season-opener, defeating Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.