HIBS manager Neil Lennon admitted his side’s star midfielder John McGinn was neither physically nor mentally fit for last night’s Europa League qualifier against NSI Runavik at Easter Road.

There has been much transfer speculation around the 23-year-old over the past week and with McGinn carrying a thigh injury, as well as being distracted as a result of all the transfer talk, Lennon chose to leave him out of last night’s squad.

“His thigh puffed up a bit and it wasn’t 100 percent,” said Lennon.

“And obviously he wasn’t 100 percent mentally.”

Herald Sport understands that Celtic will have to table a bid of around £4 million if they are to have any chance of signing McGinn.

And if their bid is short of Hibs valuation for the player, the Scottish champions risk losing out to a number of English clubs, both from the Premiership and the Championship, who it is understood have shown an interest in him.

McGinn has been the subject of considerable transfer speculation over the past week, although it has now been suggested that Celtic’s initial bid for the player, as well as their second bid, was significantly less than the £2 million that has been widely reported.

McGinn’s omission from squad that comfortably defeated NSI 6-1 in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying tie at Easter Road last night would have caused considerable concern to the 14,000 or so Hibs fans who turned out for the Edinburgh side’s first competitive outing of the new season, although the team’s comfortable win meant his presence was barely missed.

Lennon has though, he admits, considered the possibility of losing McGinn at some point in the future but he is hopeful the midfielder will be back in the squad for the second leg against NSI on Thursday.

“If John is to go, I’ll have to look at what else I’ve got,” said Lennon.

“But if he’s fit to play next week, which he should be by Sunday or Monday, he’ll start next week.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has insisted that he will leave the McGinn deal to those in the boardroom following the reports that the Parkhead side have had a second offer for the player turned down.

Rodgers is keen on adding the Scotland internationalist to Celtic’s ranks but has maintained that he will leave it to Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell and Hibs’ Rod Petrie to thrash out a deal for McGinn.

“I’m distant from that to be honest, I’m not sure where negotiations would be at,” said the Celtic manager.

“I try to coach and manage the players and let the club sort out that side of it, really.

“I’m not aware that we’re close to any incomings. I’ll just coach and manage the team.”