COMMENT

The first big Old Firm transfer battle this summer could play out over Hibernian midfielder John McGinn.

The 5ft 8 dazzler is reported to be one of Rangers’ top summer targets, with the Daily Record claiming that director of football Mark Allen has personally intervened and made new manager Steven Gerrard aware of the club’s intentions.

Rangers have been watching him for months, the player has been informed of their interest and the decision is now said to be in Gerrard’s hands.

It’s time for Peter Lawwell to step up and take that decision out of Gerrard’s hands and show him the natural pecking order in Scotland.

Celtic have been linked with a move for McGinn numerous times in the past and it’s now time to turn that interest into a concrete offer.

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The Daily Record claims that with Premier League clubs also interested, bids would start at £3million with Hibernian actually thinking that they could get £5million for him.

That seems to be wishful thinking and a ramping of the player by his own club, but if it comes to a straight fight between Celtic and Rangers there will be no contest.

Celtic fans might not be totally convinced that McGinn has the quality they need but it’s undeniable that he’d improve both Old Firm clubs.

If Lawwell moves fast and brings him to Celtic, it will strengthen Brendan Rodgers side without breaking the bank and show Gerrard that he’s going to have his work cut out to convince anyone of Celtic’s quality to head for Ibrox.

McGinn has proved himself against Celtic this season, scoring twice in the 2-2 draw at Parkhead, and would make a solid long-term replacement for Scott Brown.

He might not be the marquee signing the fans are clamouring for, but he could be one of the most important bits of business Lawwell does this summer.

In other Celtic news, ‘An awful lot of money’ – Celtic senior figure reveals Chinese interest

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