John McGinn: Hibernian reject second bid from Celtic for Scotland midfielder

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Europa League first qualifying round: Hibernian v NSI Runavik
Venue: Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Thursday, 12 July Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW, text updates on BBC Sport Scotland website

Hibernian have rejected a second bid from Celtic for Scotland midfielder John McGinn.

The 23-year-old has a year remaining on his Easter Road contract and is the subject of transfer interest from the Scottish champions.

Hibs head coach Neil Lennon says McGinn will play in Thursday's Europa League first qualifying round tie against Faroese visitors NSI Runavik.

"Two bids have come in and been rejected by the club," Lennon said.

"If you want to make a major story of it, that's fine, but we've rejected two bids from Celtic. The club has a valuation of the player, I don't know what that is, but obviously Celtic haven't met the valuation that Hibs want at the minute."

John McGinn at Hibernian training
John McGinn has a year remaining on his Hibernian contract

Hibs will be bereft of McGinn's former midfield colleague Dylan McGeouch in the coming season, after the out-of-contract 25-year-old joined English League One Sunderland.

Scott Allan returned to parent club Celtic after a five-month loan spell at Easter Road, and could be included in any McGinn bid made by Brendan Rodgers' side.

Lennon has signed former St Mirren midfielder Stevie Mallan from Barsnley and striker Florian Kamberi, who impressed on loan in Leith last term, as well as adding Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan to his squad on loan.

The Hibs boss says McGinn is coping well with the speculation over his future and reiterated his importance to the club.

John McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Scott Allan of Hibernian at Easter Road
John McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Scott Allan (from left to right) combined to good effect in the Hibs midfield last season

"He's been all right," said the former Celtic midfielder and manager. "Obviously it's difficult dealing with speculation and when a club as big as Celtic come in for you, there's always that anticipation from his point of view of maybe making that step forward.

"However, he has to be professional. We've had a couple of chats and he'll just have to wait and see how it develops because he's our player and a very important player to us."

Meanwhile, Lennon is eager for his team to build commanding lead in Thursday's first leg, with the return fixture in Toftir taking place seven days later.

"It's a big game for them, so I would expect to play against a very highly motivated team, coming to Scotland and seeing the sights of Edinburgh," he said.

"We're not taking them lightly. We've had them watched in person and seen a lot of footage of them. It's important we establish some sort of lead to take to the Faroes because that could be a tricky tie.

"They're always fraught with danger and there is going to be a bit of rustiness at times. Players don't really hit full speed until the end of August, beginning of September. Mentally and physically, the games can ask a lot of you."

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