Hibs ‘agree fee with Aston Villa’ for John McGinn

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Aston Villa are in pole position to sign John McGinn despite renewed interest from Celtic, according to Hibs head coach Neil Lennon, who says the two clubs have agreed a fee for the Scotland international.

McGinn spent Tuesday in talks with Aston Villa but Celtic are believed to have matched the Sky Bet Championship club’s offer after having several previous bids rejected.

John McGinn in action for Hibs. Neil Lennon reckons Aston Villa are in pole position to sign the midfielder. Picture: SNS Group

John McGinn in action for Hibs. Neil Lennon reckons Aston Villa are in pole position to sign the midfielder. Picture: SNS Group

Lennon said: “He went down to Birmingham, I think he is having a medical there.

“A fee has been agreed. I don’t know if personal terms have been agreed yet.

“I think Celtic have matched the offer but I think Villa are in the driving position at the minute.”

Lennon revealed there had been other approaches for McGinn but no concrete bids from interested clubs other than Villa and Celtic.

“If they do (bid) they are leaving it very late because I think the process is well down the line, certainly with Aston Villa and Steve Bruce, as far as I’m aware,” said Lennon, whose team host Molde in the Europa League on Thursday.

“I don’t know if John’s head has been turned by Aston Villa, I have not spoken to him on it yet, but as far as I’m aware they are certainly in a really strong position in terms of getting his services.

“I know Steve well, I had a good chat with him on a number of occasions about John. He’s an excellent manager, an excellent guy.

“I think John met him for dinner last night (Tuesday) and he was very impressed with what Steve had to say.”

Lennon paid tribute to the Scotland international and for his club’s foresight in signing the player from St Mirren three years ago. The Paisley club are due a third of any transfer fee, which could net them close to £1 million.

The Northern Irishman added: “He has been superb on and off the field, a joy to work with, and I have really enjoyed watching him play. He has blossomed.

“I think Hibs has been very good for him and John has been very good for Hibs. If a deal is finalised, wherever he goes, he goes with our best wishes.

“I think it’s vindication for the club, that we have brought in a player for £100,000 and sold him for millions. It shows young players that this is a good breeding ground to develop.”

Lennon is set to use the transfer income to add to his squad in the coming weeks.

“The club seem pretty happy with the money that’s on offer, it’s more of the valuation that we see John as,” he said.

“Then maybe we will sit down and see where we go. I have one or two (targets) in mind, not direct replacements for John, but different types of players that we feel could enhance, not just the squad, but the team.”