Hibs boss confirms Ipswich bid for John McGinn and gives update on Steven Whittaker, Anthony Stokes and Luke Berry

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Hibs head coach Neil Lennon has confirmed that the club have knocked back a bid from Ipswich Town for John McGinn – insisting that the offer was well short of their valuation of the Scotland midfielder.

The English Championship side reportedly submitted an offer in the region of £1 million at the tail end of last month.

McGinn has been one of the club’s stand out performers since signing from St Mirren in summer 2015.

Nottingham Forest are said to have paid less than £1 million to land prolific striker Jason Cummings from Hibs but Lennon insists the Ipswich bid was rejected out of hand.

Lennon, who is running the rule over former Liverpool and Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant, said: “We had an offer from Ipswich and it was nowhere near the valuation we have of the player and that’s the end of it.”

While Lennon is keen to keep his prized assets, his immediate focus is on building a squad for the club’s Premiership return.

Danny Swanson and Simon Murray have already joined, while Efe Ambrose and Ofir Marciano converted their loans into permanent arrangements.

Lennon has admitted that he is hopeful of bringing back Scotland defender Steven Whittaker to the club following the player’s release at Norwich City.

The former Celtic manager has also refused to rule out a move for Blackburn Rovers striker Anthony Stokes, who scored two goals in the Leith side’s Scottish Cup triumph over Rangers last year in his second stint at Easter Road.

On Whittaker, Lennon added: “We’re in talks with Steven and we’re hoping to get closer in the next few days.”

Asked about Stokes, Lennon, who confirmed a move for Cambridge United midfielder Luke Berry ‘is off’, replied: “It’s speculation, he’s a Blackburn player. Until we get the player in the building and signed, nothing is definite.

“With the loss of Jason, we’re looking to strengthen in forward areas and that’s what we’ll try and do. 

“We’ve looked at a couple of players but haven’t made a real pitch for one just yet. 

“I’m still looking to bring in three or four. Everybody wants everything done now but it’s easier said than done.” 

Lennon, meanwhile, insists Kyle Lafferty went back on his word after the Northern Ireland striker failed to show for signing talks at Hibs and instead joined city rivals Hearts.

Football agent Keith Gillespie had hoped to broker the move to Hibs and branded the player ‘disrespectful’ after posting a picture of himself and Lennon on Twitter.

Lennon said: “I don’t want to make too much of it but he gave me his word that he would come and speak to me. 

“Keith Gillespie and his partner, they weren’t flying out for a tourist trip to Edinburgh. 

“He went back on his word and there’s nothing we can do about that. It’s done now so we move on.”

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