Brendan Rodgers would strengthen his midfield options at Celtic by increasing Nottingham Forest’s rejected bid for Hibernian midfielder John McGinn.
The Daily Mirror quoted Hibs manager Neil Lennon on Sunday at Parkhead after spells as a player and manager, as saying that Mark Warburton’s Forest had been blocked in their bid for the 22-year-old.
He claimed that the exciting young midfielder is worth nearer the £5million mark, before stating that Forest’s offer was far below Hibs’ valuation of their number seven.
“They need to come back with far more money than what they’re offering at the minute. If they do… fine, the club has a decision to make,” Lennon said.
“I would value John at £5m, but there has been no bid in our valuation that has come in. We are in negotiations to renew his contract if we can so it’s just a waiting game.”
John McGinn’s increasing stock has continued to grow after a brilliant start to the 2017-18 season that has seen him continue his reputation as somewhat of an assist king.
The central midfielder has laid on two goals this season in his eight league and cup outings, after he netted five times and produced an impressive 10 assists as Hibs gained promotion last season.
The ex-St Mirren star, who started his career as a left-sided midfielder before being deployed in the middle of the park, is one of the best young stars in the Scottish Premiership and continues to prove just that.
The Hoops need a new central midfielder. The injury embargo on Kouassi Eboue has left just Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntchma to choose from in the middle of the park.
The disappointing form of Stuart Armstrong, who is most effective in the number 10 role, has seen McGregor used by Rodgers in the attacking-midfield slot and that could see Ntcham and Brown become Rodgers’ only two options.
Throwing McGinn into the equation would provide Celtic with the kind of cover that boasts plenty of Scottish Premiership experience; just nine games away from reaching a century of top-flight matches in Scotland.
The Hoops must meet that £5million valuation for John McGinn as they compete on four fronts after qualifying for the Champions League, with an injury to Brown or Ntcham likely to cause catastrophe if cover is not brought in.