Derek McInnes has admitted his surprise at Celtic or Rangers not going in for Ali McCann before his move to Preston North End.
Preston made a late swoop for McCann in the dying embers of the transfer window, bringing him to Deepdale for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £1.25million.
The midfielder arrived on a four-year deal from St Johnstone, leaving the Scottish club having came through the ranks there as a youngster.
McCann impressed in the SPFL, making 43 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring twice and registering two assists.
After being let go on the cheap, former Aberdeen manager McInnes has admitted his surprise at Celtic or Rangers not going in for the midfielder before Preston did.
Speaking in his Sunday Mail column, McInnes said: “McCann lacks a bit of finesse and quality with his final pass and he could probably score more goals, but he has everything else.
“He is a responsible midfielder, a real competitor who knows his job and is good on the ball. If McCann has gone for £1m with a sell-on fee, then Preston have got a steal.
“I have played and managed in the English Championship and he will deal with that fine. I am just surprised and disappointed that neither player (McCann or Jason Kerr) has stayed in the Scottish league.
“McCann would have been an easy one for Celtic or Rangers to take and such a hard one for Callum (Davidson) to replace.”
Preston lost their first three games of the Championship season, but recorded back-to-back league wins before the international break.
Celtic and Rangers are both seen as the two big clubs in Scotland, and they normally tend to patch the up and coming talent in the SPFL.
McCann is an attractive option. He’s 21 and has made appearances for Northern Ireland, so there is room for development and clearly potential there.
He’s a top signing for North End, though, and having spent just over £1million for his signature, there is scope to make a real profit in the future.
Rangers and Celtic will be hoping that this isn’t one they live to regret missing out on in the future.