NEIL Lennon, the Hibernian head coach, sidestepped questions about John McGinn as the capital club brace themselves for a renewed offer from Celtic for their prize asset. 

However, his No.2 Garry Parker is adamant McGinn has not been fazed by speculation and will be back in the side to face Blackburn in Paul Hanlon’s testimonial on Sunday. 

The 23-year-old was a notable absentee last night as Hibs romped to a 6-0 win over Berwick Rangers

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Celtic had an initial bid for the Scotland internationalist, believed to be in the region of £1.5 million, rejected earlier this week but remain undeterred. As of last night, however, Celtic were yet to test Hibs’ resolve. 

Lennon has previously valued McGinn at £5million, although wirh just 12 months to run on his existing contract it is unlikely that will be met by any club.

Nevertheless, with the player’s former club St Mirren understood to be due 33 per cent of any transfer fee, Hibs are ready to play hardball.

Parker said: “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.

“But nothing fazes John, he will be playing on Sunday and we are looking forward to that ahead of a big [Europa League qualifier] game against Runavik.

“Tongues will always be wagging but John was just being rested.”
Meanwhile, Celtic face a battle to convince Liverpool to send promising winger Harry Wilson to Scotland on loan, with the English giants concerned about the lack of progress made by previous loanees at the club.

Patrick Roberts enjoyed a productive first season at Celtic, making 47 appearances and scoring 11 goals during his initial loan spell from Manchester City, but he had injury problems last season and struggled for game time ahead of James Forrest.

Charly Musonda also failed to make any sort of impact on the Celtic first-team following his move from Chelsea in January, and was recalled by the club in the summer just six months into his 18-month loan deal after making only eight appearances.

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The struggles of the pair last season have Liverpool worried that a move north of the border wouldn’t be best for the development of a player they rate extremely highly.

Celtic remain hopeful that a deal can still be done, but a move to the English Championship is now also being considered.

It is understood that Wilson himself would be keen on the move, but he is also not giving up hope of making an impact at his parent club after a loan spell at Hull City last season.

“It’s great to be back,” he told the club website. 

“I enjoyed my loan spell but I’ve been looking forward to it all summer, coming back in and getting started again, starting the hard work.

“Last year I was desperate to make an impact in pre-season but I picked up a little injury and that stopped me doing so. With the loan spell behind me, I’ve got a lot of confidence and belief that this season can be my season.

“I went out and got the minutes I needed, scored a few goals and helped Hull climb the table a bit. I really enjoyed that. Now I’m focusing on doing well in pre-season and hopefully getting into this team.”