JOHN McGINN was simply ‘rested’ by Hibs last night – nothing at all to do with the speculation that he is about to join Celtic.
Hibs beat Berwick Rangers 6-0 without their midfield general and former Celtic manager Neil Lennon dodged any post match chat, presumably to avoid questions on the two Celtic bids for his star player.
Instead Garry Parker, his assistant spoke and insisted that McGinn was ‘rested’ as Hibs wanted to give some of the younger players some game time.
Celtic bid £1.5million a few days ago and Hibs rejected this initial offer but Celtic were quickly back in for the player who has been a long time rumoured target for Brendan Rodgers and performed particularly well against the 7 in a Row Champions last season – Hibs’ first one back into the Premiership after eventually finding their way out of the Championship.
Parker insisted that McGinn will be back in the Hibs side that will play Blackburn in a testimonial match for Paul Hanlon on Sunday.
“Celtic have submitted a bid as we all know, but John is our player at the moment. I don’t know what price we would be looking for. You would need to ask the board,” Parker said.
“But nothing fazes John, he will be playing on Sunday and we are looking forward to that ahead of a big game against Runavik.
“Tongues will always be wagging, but John was just being rested, like Marv Bartley and Flo Kamberi. We wanted to give a few of the young boys a run out and they did very well.”
Celtic are hoping to secure a signing today ahead of the first deadline for signing a player eligible to play in the Champions League qualifier in Armenia next week. There is also a ‘wild card’ option available to be used by Monday evening so this could run on over the weekend, or it could be concluded very quickly.
St Mirren are set for a decent windfall IF Hibs agree to sell McGinn to Celtic. The player is reported to be uninterested in other opportunities as he has his heart set on joining his boyhood heroes in the East End of Glasgow.
If no deal can be agreed on the valuation of the player who is entering the final year of his contract, Celtic and McGinn can wait until January and sign the player for free on a pre-contract.
Financially that would be a huge blow to Hibs, and indeed St Mirren.
Expect a deal to be reached sooner rather than later.