John McGinn appears to be top of Celtic’s transfer wish list this summer with an initial bid being rejected and a second bid being prepared.
McGinn’s tenacity has set him apart in the Hibs midfield in recent years and has gained him suitors from other teams. However, with Celtic edging towards his signature, we look at what those in the game are saying about McGinn.
Brendan Rodgers refused to give too much away when recently asked about the 23-year-old.
“I just wait to see what happens between the clubs, really.
“That will be organised, hopefully, between the two clubs – and hopefully we have another player.”
The Double Treble winning manager wants the deal for McGinn to be concluded as soon as possible as his side prepare for their Champions League qualifiers.
“It’s going to take a bit of time and negotiation. We’ll just wait and see.
“I think we want to get them in as soon as we can, being honest. If it’s not to be, you have to wait. You have to be patient.”
In December, Rodgers paid McGinn numerous compliments after the 2-2 draw at Easter Rd.
“He’s very good. He looks like the type of player you love as a manager. But he is very industrious and looks a great lad. He knows the game, you can see that with the way he fills in positions.
“Defensively he’s strong, he puts his foot in and can make a tackle. He doesn’t oversell himself, he’s technically very good when he tackles.
“Tactically he looks like he’s got a good understanding of the game.
“He passes it well and had a couple of good moments in the game when he moved into the box.
“He was a real driving force for them.”
On the basis of his praise, it’s clear that Brendan is keen on McGinn and with twelve months to go on his contract, will hope the board can open the door to a move from Leith to Celtic Park.
Meanwhile, on the Hibs side of the saga, they remain coy over losing one of their stars but committed to doing what’s best for the player and club – should a price be agreed.
Former Celt & current Hibbee, Efe Ambrose, gave McGinn his endorsement about the proposed move.
“I think John can make the step up. He has the quality and the ability to succeed at Celtic. If he does get there then he will need to battle for his place because it’s not easy at a club like Celtic.”
Garry Parker, the Hibs no.2, gave an update from the Hibs camp regarding McGinn, who skipped their thrashing of Berwick Rangers.
“Nothing fazes John, he will be playing on Sunday and we are looking forward to that ahead of a big Runavik.
“Tongues will always be wagging but John was just being rested.”
Neil Lennon last season gave the price tag for McGinn at £5m. However, with just a year left on his contract and Scott Allan as a makeweight, Lennon could be convinced to settle for less.
“It’s inevitable with the progress John is making that there will be interest in him.
“He has a price. I think in this day and age £5m would cover it. I value him very highly as we all do here, and we won’t sell ourselves short if the bids come in for him.
The next few weeks will be interesting to see how the McGinn saga plays out and whether Celtic end up with the player or not. From what has been said and when circumstances are taken into account, there must be an assumption that Celtic will do all they can to get this deal over the line.