McAvennie: Failure to sign Toney and McGinn cost Celtic £70m and go down as Lawwell 'big mistake'

Frank McAvennie claims the failure to sign Ivan Toney and John McGinn are Peter Lawwell’s big mistakes from his time at Celtic. 

However, the former Hoops hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, understands the chief executive had to find a way to balance the books.

On 4th June, Celtic fans unveiled a banner outside Celtic Park that was aimed at Lawwell and the club’s failure to appoint a new boss.

In January, it was announced Lawwell would be stepping down as Chief Executive this summer after 17 years in the role.

Celtic came close to signing Toney last summer as he spent time at Lennoxtown before the club opted against making a move.

He instead signed for Brentford and broke the Championship goalscoring record as his side secured promotion.

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McAvennie claims Celtic could have two players worth £70million if the club had signed Toney as well as Villa midfielder McGinn when he left Hibernian.

“The big ones for me are Ivan Toney and John McGinn,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“He had the chance to sign both of them, they are worth £70million or something now. Easy.

“That’s Lawwell’s big mistake. I wanted him to spend money, we all did. Sometimes you have to balance the books. 

“Whether it’s right or wrong, I’m happy with what he’s done. Celtic were making money, there’s not many clubs doing that.”

Celtic failed to sign McGinn in 2018 as he chose a move to Aston Villa.

The boyhood Hoops fan has gone on to be a vital player under Dean Smith at Villa Park.

In other news, Celtic have been told that 31-year-old will snub their long-term offer and sign for Rangers instead.