Celtic winger Aiden McGeady will fly out to Russia on Tuesday to speak with representatives of Spartak Moscow about a possible £9.5million move to the country’s capital.
Aston Villa have been interested in the 24-year-old for some time and manager Martin O’Neill sees the Republic of Ireland player as a potential replacement for James Milner should the PFA young player of the year switch to Manchester City.
However, with half the Russian Premier League season completed, Spartak have moved for the man they hope can resurrect a stuttering campaign, which sees them lie seventh out of 16 teams.
Spartak qualified for this season’s Champions League after coming second last year and McGeady would be eligible to play in that competition, given he didn’t feature in Celtic’s 3-0 defeat to Braga because of injury.
Celtic play the return leg of their Champions League third qualifying round match against the Portuguese side on Wednesday, with slim hopes of going through, but a 5/6 chance of winning the game.
Spartak’s Russian rivals Zenit St Petersburg, 80/1 to win the Champions League, face Unirea Urziceni on Wednesday as well, with a place in the play-off round of the tournament up for grabs. Zenit are 1/4 to win the game.
Despite playing in Celtic’s 2-2 draw with Lyon at the Emirates on Saturday, McGeady will not feature in the match at Parkhead, leaving him free to also play in the Europa League, should Aston Villa sign him.
At 9/1 to finish in the top four, the Birmingham side’s interest would only turn into a concrete bid if 24-year-old Milner were to make the move to Eastlands, though.
5/1 title hopefuls City hope a £24million offer for the England international is enough to prise him away from Villa Park, and Gareth Barry, who made the same transfer last summer, is urging the ex-Leeds United youth to make up his mind.
“My advice to him would be to try to get the situation sorted as quickly as possible,” Barry said.
Leicester City have turned down a £1million bid from Blackpool for their striker DJ Campbell, who went on loan at Bloomfield Road for the end of last season. Without additions to their threadbare squad, the Tangerines looks certainties to finish bottom, a 10/11 chance right now.