HIBS were last night on the verge of signing highly-rated St Mirren midfielder John McGinn – but head coach Alan Stubbs insists the Scotland Under-21 captain is not a replacement for Scott Allan.

Stubbs yesterday reiterated the Leith outfit’s stance that Allan will not be sold to Championship title rivals Rangers after the 23-year-old handed in a transfer request on Tuesday.

And Hibs plan to enhance their midfield options with the capture of McGinn after they agreed a six-figure compensation fee with the Buddies.

McGinn, who had recently been on trial at Owen Coyle’s Houston Dynamo and attracted interest from Dundee United, is set to put pen to paper at Easter Road after undergoing a medical yesterday.

Asked if McGinn could be regarded as a replacement for Allan, Stubbs said: “I can assure you the deal itself and the player himself is not in any way, shape or form a way of resignation. It’s a way of confirmation. It tells you which way the club is going, it’s a fantastic signing for us. He is one of Scotland’s brightest talents and I think it’s a real coup for the club.

“A substantial fee was paid and I think that tells you where the club is and the direction we want to go in.

“There was a lot of interest from Premiership teams, America and from England.

“As long as the medical is fine, we can hopefully get him in and get him signed as soon as possible.”

Stubbs, meanwhile, reckons he knows what is going on inside Allan’s head after recalling how he handed in a transfer request during his time at Bolton.

The defender subsequently joined Celtic in a £4 million switch 12 months later in 1996.

He added: “Of course I can appreciate where he is because I’ve been in his shoes before.

“But there were different circumstances. How? Because I wasn’t going to our nearest rivals. And I went for £4 million. That’s how it’s different.

“When I did it, I stayed until the end of the season.

“Of course I had to contend with things but you have to go through that as a football player.

“I’m certainly dealing with Scotty better than I was dealt with. I can tell you that.”

Hibs have refused to sell Allan to Championship title rivals Rangers but, asked if the Leith outfit would consider bids from other clubs, Stubbs added: “It’s a hypothetical question. If anything comes in, we as a club discuss it and do what is in the best interests of the football club. That is the process.”