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Rangers and West Ham dealt blow as English Championship giants want their top target

Old firm rivals Celtic and Rangers could miss out on the signature of Hibernian midfielder John McGinn as Cardiff City could make a late swoop after the duo appeared to withdraw interest.

West Ham and Middlesbrough were also linked with the Scotland internationalist, but the Welsh suitors look to be in the front of the queue for his signature.

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock sent his assistant Kevin Blackwell to watch McGinn in the Edinburgh Derby last weekend, and an offer could arrive before next Wednesday.

Hibs boss Neil Lennon knows his side can’t hold on to the 23-year-old if a substantial offer is brought to the table, admitting that: “There is probably an inevitability about bids coming in, particularly John.

“We have to be realistic about that, weigh it up and be prepared for that eventuality if it does happen. If the club get an offer that they can’t refuse, that could potentially alter what we’ve got to spend.

“I’m hoping that won’t be the case, but the way John’s playing, it’s going to be very hard to hold on to him for the foreseeable future.”

McGinn has weighed in 4 goals and 3 assists in 22 games this term, and has been one of Hibs’ best players since they returned to the Scottish topflight.

His experience would see him improve the depth and quality of a side like Celtic or Rangers.

He could also prove to be a cheap option for a West Ham side badly in need of another midfielder, but it seems any move down south will be to Wales instead.