Celtic’s back in for McGinn, £2million bid plus Scott Allan

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CELTIC will today make a second attempt to sign John McGinn from Hibs by submitting an improved offer for the midfielder.

Hibs are looking at the fee Celtic received for Stuart Armstrong from Southampton as a pointer towards their own valuation for McGinn but a better comparison would be Jonny Hayes’ move from Aberdeen to Celtic last summer.

Hayes was clearly Aberdeen’s star man but was about to enter the final year of his contract and the Dons could not afford to let him see out his deal before leaving for free. So they reluctantly agreed to sell the player to Celtic – for £1.5million and Celtic also assisted them by allowing Ryan Christie to head to Pittodrie for a second loan period, that time for an entire season.

Armstrong was on ‘Celtic wages’ not Hibs or Aberdeen money and he saw his pay packet increase substantially in the move to Southampton.

If Hibs want to look at Armstrong as a comparison then fine but use his move from Dundee United – when he still had a few years left on his contract – to Celtic. The signing on fee and wage increase from Tannadice to Celtic was significant for the player at that time but gradually he realised that he was among the lower paid players at the club.

McGinn will not be on big money at Hibs.

Celtic paid just over £2million for Armstrong and the reality of Hibs’ situation is that is just about the limited what they can hope to get for the Scotland midfielder plus getting Celtic’s cooperation on Scott Allan.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, who would like the player in ahead of next week’s Champions league qualifier in Armenia spoke about possible arrivals yesterday evening in Austria after the 1-0 win over Sparta Prague. He didn’t give much away though.

“There is a lot of speculation around players but I will only talk when they are signed and done.

“The club are trying to do that.

“It is not a case of: ‘Get replacements and then improvements’ — it’s what we need combined.

“But it’s important we get replacements.”

The Uefa deadline for next Tuesday’s Champions League opener against Alashkert is tomorrow — although Celtic can sign a wild card on Monday.

“For Thursday, I’m not sure. I don’t have any sort of update really, so I’m not sure how close we would be at this moment in time.”

As we expected – we were reluctant to get involved at all in writing about that story – Celtic will not be offering a contract to Hull City full-back Moses Odubajo, due to the on going concerns on his recovery from two serious knee injuries. The player is currently back training with his old club Brentford and we hope that he can get back to playing football.

Other than the missing four World Cup stars, Rodgers only casualty from the trip to Austria is the aforementioned Hayes who has picked up a thigh strain and looks likely to miss the trip to Armenia to play Alashkert.

“We are just awaiting clarification on whether Jonny has a thigh strain.

“It looks like he could be out of the Alashkert first leg but we’ll wait and see. It’s just unfortunate,” Brendan said.

Here is Brendan’s interview with Celtic TV after the Sparta Prague match. Celtic are now home before travelling over to play Smack Rovers on Saturday.

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