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English clubs will come in for McGinn this week, predicts Hibs boss Lennon

By Gavin McCafferty

Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon is similarly surprised more suitors have not emerged for John McGinn as he was when clubs passed up the chance to sign Virgil van Dijk from Celtic.

Lennon's faith in Van Dijk was vindicated when the Dutch defender moved to Liverpool in a £75million deal less than five years after he signed him for Celtic, and two and a half years after Southampton bought him for £13million.

Only Celtic have bid so far for McGinn, who set up Hibs' second goal in a 3-0 win over Motherwell on Sunday, but the Edinburgh club have rejected three offers.

Brighton and Blackburn have also been linked with interest in the 23-year-old Scotland midfielder, who is in the final season of a four-year deal, and Lennon is braced for movement before the English transfer deadline at 5pm on Thursday, hours before his side's Europa League clash with Molde.

"The only concrete bid we have had is from Celtic and that hasn't met our valuation," said Lennon after praising his side's "marvellous" performance in their Ladbrokes Premiership opener.

"I would be amazed if we didn't get more offers in for him. He is outstanding, he is at the peak of his powers, and he has handled the situation brilliantly. That speaks volumes, not only of the player he is, but the personality as well because it can't be easy for him. He was outstanding again.

"But he has a value. It's a bit like Van Dijk's situation, I couldn't understand why no-one took a punt on him earlier.

"He is one of the best I have worked with in terms of what he brings to the team and his influence. If he does go, he will leave a huge hole. But whether he is here on Thursday or not, it's going to be a fraught couple of days."

Stevie Mallan, Oli Shaw and Martin Boyle were on target for Hibs, who were without Florian Kamberi and Darren McGregor following their exploits in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Asteras Tripolis in Greece.

Lennon admitted he did not know whether each player would recover from knee complaints in time for the visit of the Norwegian side.

Meanwhile, Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson hit out at Bobby Madden's decision to penalise Peter Hartley for handball, which allowed Mallan to convert a 30th-minute free-kick.

"I thought we contained them well and an incredible decision changes the course of the game," Robinson said.

"I'm not saying that we lost because of that decision but it certainly changes the course of the game."

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