John McGinn returned to training with Hibernian yesterday as speculation over his future at the club intensified.
The in-demand midfielder was given extra time off this summer after playing for Scotland in the friendly defeats to Peru and Mexico during the summer tour of the Americas.
Vykintas Slivka was also welcomed back into the Hibs fold after making four appearances for Lithuania at the start of the month, whilst Lewis Stevenson began pre-season training late on Thursday after being given a few days’ grace following his international debut against Peru.
McGinn’s return coincided with reports of an impending £3 million bid from English Championship side Derby County, with new manager Frank Lampard said to be a big admirer of the Scotland international.
Birmingham City have also been linked with the player, as have Celtic who could be tempted to make a move for McGinn if and when Stuart Armstrong completes his switch to Southampton.
Easter Road manager Neil Lennon confessed at the weekend that it would be “difficult” to keep McGinn.
“We would like to keep John – but it’s going to be difficult,” said Lennon. “He is a huge asset. He’s the heartbeat of the team. He and Dylan [McGeouch] will leave big boots to fill – but that’s the nature of the job at a club like Hibs. Players come and if they do well they move on.”
Meanwhile, Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano remains at home in Israel receiving treatment on a finger injury that is set to keep him out of the club’s Europa League tie against NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands.
Runavik, meanwhile, have been involved in an accident in their homeland.
The bus carrying Hibs’ European opponents to Friday night’s league game against Skala IF left the road but no injuries were reported and they were able to play the match, which finished 1-1.