Celtic target John McGinn missing from Hibs team to face NSI Runavik

John McGinn, left, arrives at Easter Road with Hibs team-mate David Gray
John McGinn, left, arrives at Easter Road with Hibs team-mate David Gray
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Hibs midfielder John McGinn was absent from the Hibs team to face NSI Runavik tonight amid Celtic’s pursuit of the player.

Head coach Neil Lennon this week admitted the Easter Road club had rejected an improved second bid from the Glasgow outfit following their rejection of a £1.5 million offer last week.

And there was no place for McGinn when Hibs named their 18-man line-up for the Europa League first qualifying round clash with the Faroese side at Easter Road.

When asked today if a third bid was likely for McGinn, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said: “I am distant from that, so time will tell. That’s something for the clubs to organise. I coach the team, I manage the team. We target players but ultimately any agreements have to be between the two clubs.

“We respect John is still very much a Hibs player and unless there’s an agreement... like I say, it’s going to be a difficult one. That’s really between the clubs.”

Lennon yesterday admitted it was an unsettling time 23-year-old McGinn, saying: “This is football and you can’t stop progress, but all the speculation is not an easy thing for him to deal with. We just need to manage him as best we can until it’s resolved one way or the other. The best thing for him is to play. I’ve seen no ill-effects in his play. He was excellent on Sunday and played well at Linlithgow. He has a bit of a dead leg, but has trained well and is available for selection (against Runavik).”

Hibs team to face NSI Runavik: Bogdan, Whittaker, Ambrose, Hanlon, McGregor, Stevenson, Boyle, Mallan, Kamberi, Slivka, Shaw: Subs: Laidlaw, Gray, Bartley, Swanson, S Murray, Martin, Porteous.