John McGinn expected to play in Hibernian Europa tie - Garry Parker

John McGinn makes a tackle for Hibernian against Blackburn Rovers
John McGinn started Hibernian's 2-0 pre-season defeat by Blackburn Rovers in Paul Hanlon's testimonial

Assistant coach Garry Parker expects John McGinn to play in Hibernian's Europa League qualifier on Thursday, despite interest from Celtic.

The Scotland international, 23, is a transfer target for Brendan Rodgers' side, who have sold fellow midfielder Stuart Armstrong to Southampton.

Hibs host Faroese side NSI Runavik in the first of two legs in the opening round of qualifiers.

"We've just got to focus now on Thursday," Parker told BBC Scotland.

Having lost McGinn's midfield colleague Dylan McGeouch, who joined Sunderland after his contract expired, head coach Neil Lennon has signed former St Mirren player Stevie Mallan on a four-year deal.

Celtic may opt to include Scott Allan in a player-plus-cash bid for McGinn, after the former impressed on loan at Easter Road last term.

McGinn started - and was named man of the match in - Sunday's 2-0 defeat by English Championship Blackburn Rovers in Paul Hanlon's Hibs testimonial.

"They [Runavik] are halfway into their season, its going to be a tough game," said Parker. "It's one I think we can win but we're going to have to put a better performance than we did today."

Defender Hanlon, 28, made his Hibs debut in January 2008, and has amassed over 250 appearances for his boyhood club, helping the Easter Road side end their 114-year wait to win the Scottish Cup in 2016.

Uncapped Hanlon, who earned his first Scotland call-up last season, echoed Parker's assertion that the Leith outfit have plenty room for improvement.

"I don't know a lot about [Runavik], they're a good bit into their season so they'll be up to speed and fit," the centre-back said.

"It's about what we do. We'll need to improve on our performance and we've got a few days to work on the nitty-gritty that we need to put right.

"There's pressure, obviously. A lot of [Scottish] teams haven't done as well in Europe as what they want. All we can do is focus on ourselves and get through to the next round.

"Past results, we can't affect, it's just about what we do now. We worked hard all last year to put ourselves in this position so we're not going to just let it go."

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