THE future of on-loan Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths depends largely on whether parent club Wolves are going to be able to recruit “an expensive striker” this transfer window.
In a further strand to the story, the Evening News understands the Molineux club have the option of invoking a 12-month extension to Griffiths’ contract, which they could take up to protect his sell-on value even if they allow him to go back out on loan this month.
The SPL’s joint-top scorer, who as things stand is due to play the last game of his stint at Easter Road against Dundee a week on Saturday, has been out of favour under previous Wolves managers Mick McCarthy and Stale Solbakken.
However, in light of the Midlands club’s recent goal-scoring woes, new Molineux manager Dean Saunders has taken an open-minded view on Griffiths since being thrust into the hotseat earlier this week. As revealed by the Evening News yesterday, the 22-year-old has been training down in the Black Country this week so the Welshman can cast an eye over him.
A decision on whether or not Griffiths is to be retained by Wolves or sent back out on loan is expected imminently, with Saunders explaining what will shape his thinking.
He said: “We’re probably short of strikers if someone gets injured. We’ve got plenty of midfielders and plenty of defenders so I think I will have to look at it closely and see how we go on Friday, but with the window shutting at the end of the month, we have got some targets so we’ll see if we can get them into the club.
“If I need to sign an expensive striker and Leigh isn’t going to play here regularly, then I would rather he goes out on loan and gets games. He has trained with us for the last two days and is due to go back to Scotland on Saturday but he wanted to talk to me. I said to him ‘let me have a look at the group for two or three days and then I’ll have a better idea of where we are’.”
The future of another
Hibs loan star, Jorge Claros, also remains up in the air, with a director of the Honduran internationalist’s parent club
Motagua claiming there is interest in the player from other clubs.
Julio Gutierrez said: “Hibernian are interested in having the player in their squad and we are considering whether it is the best option for the player and Motagua, where Jorge is still under contract.
“We are also considering
offers from other clubs and we need to come to a decision in the near future. We will
decide whether to agree to
either a permanent sale or loan,
depending on what is best for the player.”
Two players who have pledged their futures to Hibs are
highly-regarded youngsters Alex Harris, 18, and Bradley Donaldson, 19, who have signed new deals committing them to Easter Road until the summer of 2014.