The former Sheffield Wednesday trialist Josh McEachran claims he was close to joining Aston Villa before becoming a Birmingham City player.
McEachran flew out to Wednesday’s Portuguese training camp at the start of July and joined the Owls’ pre-season tour of Germany later that month.
But after the Owls lost their former Aston Villa and Birmingham manager Steve Bruce to Newcastle United, the midfielder was allowed to explore ‘other avenues’.
And it seems that McEachran could have made a Premier League move of his own.
Asked about a reunion with his former Brentford boss Dean Smith at Aston Villa, the 26-year-old told the Birmingham Mail: “I was close to signing but one or two things went a bit wrong and it didn’t end up. I am here now, I am happy here now so I don’t really need to speak about that.”
Explaining his eventual move to Birmingham, for whom he made his first start on Saturday, McEachran said: “You don’t know whether you are going to be in England, America, anywhere in the world – that’s obviously not good.
“I finally got sorted here, after a trial at Birmingham – thanks to (the Blues former Brentford defender) Harlee Dean really. He got me in. I am excited to be here and am excited for the season.
“It probably was humbling having to prove myself again, I wasn’t really expecting it to be honest because I was a free agent and there were quite a few teams and I was umming and ahhing where to go and stuff.
“To come here, to get the opportunity to come and play for Birmingham, obviously it’s a massive club in the Championship, I have seen what they want to do in the next year, two years.
“They want to get back to the Premier League and that’s what I want to do so I am grateful to be here.
“I just wanted to come here and prove myself.
“It was tough getting physically ready, I didn’t have a pre-season so I was always playing catch up.
“I think with the 23s games and the training I was on I have got up to speed with things, now I just want to start playing a few games with the first team and cement my place in the team.”
Sheffield Wednesday later signed Massimo Luongo in McEachran’s position, before appointing the former Birmingham manager Garry Monk as Bruce’s successor.
And McEachran went on to state that he is ‘a lot more suited’ to the Blues’ style of play under Monk’s estranged assistant boss Pep Clotet.
His ex-Brentford teammate Jota Peleteiro did join Aston Villa, from Birmingham, in the summer transfer window.