'Presumptious' Scott Brown should stop talking about my player: says Hibs boss Neil Lennon
Hibernian boss Neil Lennon has told Celtic captain Scott Brown to stay out of his club's transfer business.
The Hoops captain discussed Scottish midfielder John McGinn at length earlier this week, with the player in the middle of a transfer tussle between his current club and Brown's Glasgow giants.
Two bids have so far been rejected for the 23-year-old, the latter of which was said to be £1.75m.
Asked about the prospect of McGinn joining him in Celtic's midfield, Brown was quick to talk up the former St Mirren man's abilities and offer some advice after his own switch between the same clubs back in 2007.
“John is fantastic," he said. "Everyone knows how good a player he is. Whatever happens will happen. I was in John’s situation a good few years ago, so I know how he is feeling.
"He just has to take a back step and let the clubs deal with it. He just has to carry on with what he’s doing because that’s why clubs want to sign him. He is a top-quality player.
“Even though he’s only got a year left on his deal, they want to get as much cash as they possibly can and quite rightly so. That’s not up to me. It’s up to our club and Hibs. If he does come then it will be a great move for him.”
However, Brown's comments, which also included talk of sending McGinn 'a few week jokes', have drawn a less than impressed reaction from his former boss.
“I think it’s a bit presumptuous from Scott," said Lurgan man Lennon.
“I don’t know the context of the interview and the atmosphere of the interview, and I’m aware John is admired by a lot of people in the Scottish game, but it’s a bit early from that sort of talk.
“I would prefer it if - regardless of what club John may go to - the players at that club wait until he actually arrives. Then they can talk about him as much as they want.
“We have had two bids in from Celtic which have been rebuffed.
“I think managers talking about players at other clubs is definitely breaking a code, but perhaps Scott was just asked a question and gave an honest answer. However, we as a club would prefer it if a deal was concluded before players talk like that.
“For the moment he is a Hibs player and due to play tonight.”
McGinn is expected to play for Hibs in their Europa League first qualifying round second-leg tie this evening, thereby ruling himself out of Celtic's Champions League qualifying campaign, should he make the move.
Belfast Telegraph Digital