Hibs manager Neil Lennon admits he is bracing himself for a flurry of bids for John McGinn ahead of the English Premier League transfer window closing in just six days’ time.
As Brighton joined the race for the influential 23-year-old yesterday, Lennon also confirmed that Celtic remain the only team to have submitted offers for McGinn.
Talks with the reigning Scottish champions are continuing, with Celtic now having tabled more than three unsuccessful offers for a player valued at around £4 million.
Brighton’s interest in the Scotland midfielder, whose goal in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Asteras Tripolis secured a 4-3 Europa League second qualifying round aggregate victory, could spark a bidding war and Lennon is now expecting the club to be inundated with offers.
Lennon, whose side host Motherwell in their opening Premiership clash tomorrow, said: “I don’t know if there have been discussions or not [with Brighton].
“It’s just speculation but it wouldn’t surprise me. There has been no bid in from any other club apart from Celtic.
“I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t more bids that come in for him between now and 9 August and beyond that.
“Again, that will dictate whether we’ve got anything to spend in that regard if that eventuality happens.
“From a personal point of view, I’m selfish and I don’t want it to happen because you can see how good he is at the minute. He is just an outstanding player.”
Work to bolster the squad continued yesterday, with Australia striker Jamie Maclaren sealing a return to Hibs following last season’s successful loan stint from German side SV Darmstadt 98.
Maclaren scored eight goals in 15 matches for Lennon’s side and joins on a season-long loan. “This is the best club for me to be at to kick on,” said the 25-year-old, who goes into the squad to face Motherwell.
Hibs are also trying to cut through red tape to conclude a season-long loan arrangement for Manchester City winger Thomas Agyepong.
An estimated £250,000 Uefa windfall from setting up a third qualifying-round tie with Norwegian outfit Molde will boost the club’s coffers, although Lennon admits the revenue from the potential sale of McGinn is another factor. He added: “Certainly, financially we will be better off. It’s worth a few pounds to the club, which is fantastic.
“Whether I get to spend it is another thing, and of course there is the shadow of John.
“It’s a balancing act and we’re going to have to use the squad between Thursdays and Sundays now as well, but the more bodies we can get in the better.”