Neil Lennon rejected big money offer to become Hibernian manager

Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon has revealed he knocked back a lucrative move abroad for the security on offer at Hibernian.

Press Association Sport understands the former Celtic boss was considering a big-money move to China.

But while he was tempted by the opportunity and riches available in the Far East, he opted in the end for the safeguards placed on offer from Easter Road chief executive Leeann Dempster.

Lennon, 44, told Press Association Sport: "I had opportunities abroad and they were appealing.

"But you don't know what you are going into at times and here I have stability.

"In the end I decided I liked Hibs more. I think it's a good fit for me. The facilities, the infrastructure and speaking to Leeann convinced me it was the right thing to do.

"I've got big shoes to fill after what Alan Stubbs did here with the Scottish Cup win but historically it is a fine club and I think it should be higher up than it is now."

Lennon says his first act as Hibs boss will be to try and persuade John McGinn and Jason Cummings that their futures lie in Leith.

Dempster says the Easter Road outfit have shown their ambition by luring the former Celtic boss to the capital but the Northern Irishman knows his job will be made significantly harder if he cannot keep hold of his highly-rated youngsters.

Both McGinn and Cummings played key roles for Hibs as they helped end the club's 114-year wait for Scottish Cup glory last month but the thought of another season in the Ladbrokes Championship following their failed promotion bid is unlikely to hold much appeal.

But Lennon said: "John and Jason are excellent players who have just had terrific seasons.

"They are vital to what I want to do so I'd like to sit down and speak to the both of them.

"I'm hoping they will see things my way and want to stay for a while."

But he admits it is unlikely Anthony Stokes will be checking in for a second Easter Road stint, despite Celtic releasing the striker on Wednesday.

Lennon signed the Irishman - who spent the second half of last season on loan with Hibs, scoring two goals in their cup final triumph over Rangers - during his spell as Hoops boss back in 2010 but is doubtful he will be linking up again with the 27-year-old again.

He said: "If I could get him here it would be fantastic but I think that may be beyond us in terms of finances."