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Lennon: Aston Villa are in driving seat for John McGinn

Celtic have matched the tranfer fee the English side agreed with Hibernian.

Switch: McGinn is at Aston Villa.
Switch: McGinn is at Aston Villa. SNS Group

Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon has said that Aston Villa are now favourites to sign John McGinn, though Celtic have matched the transfer fee.

McGinn is in the final year of his contract at Easter Road and Hibs had said that they had no intention of selling the Scotland international until their valuation was met. Multiple bids from Celtic had been rejected for falling short of that price and Lennon said earlier this week that he had expected interest to come from English clubs.

That has now materialised, with Lennon revealing that a fee had been agreed with Aston Villa, and that the midfielder was undergoing a medical at the Championship club on Wednesday.

The head coach said that Celtic had now matched the fee being offered by Villa but that he felt Steve Bruce's side were in the driving seat to complete a deal.

"He was down in Birmingham last night and he's having a medical there. A fee has been agreed, I don't know if personal terms have been agreed yet or if it's been finalised," said Hibs boss, Neil Lennon.

"Celtic have matched the offer. But as it stands, Villa are in the driving seat.

"There have been no other bids from any other English clubs as far as I'm aware. There's been tentative inquiries but nothing in writing or confirmed.

"If any other clubs are interested in John then they are leaving it late. The process with Aston Villa and Steve Bruce is well down the line."

Lennon stated that Hibernian would be unable to replace a player of the same calibre as John McGinn.

"If John does go then he goes with my best wishes. I think he's been superb on and off the field. He's a joy to work with. Hibs has been very good for John and John has been very good for Hibs. If a deal is finalised, he goes with our best wishes.

"We're not going to be able to replace John McGinn, but we'll try and find some players to maybe tally up that level, eventually. But, he's probably been one of the best Hibs players in the last 25-30 years. No question about it."

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers admitted on Tuesday that the 23-year old, who has nine Scotland caps, had been a signing target for months and expressed frustration that the club hadn't added more signings this summer.

More to follow...

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