Hibs were today inching closer to striking a deal to make Terry Butcher the new manager at Easter Road.
Talks between chairman Rod Petrie and Butcher have entered a second day after the Edinburgh club were given permission to speak to the former England captain about filling the vacancy which arose after Pat Fenlon’s departure at the end of last week.
While supporters are anxious to see a new manager installed as soon as possible, it is understood there’s nothing untoward in the fact negotiations haven’t yet been concluded given that, while Inverness Caley chairman Kenny Cameron has allowed Butcher to meet Petrie, he’s also stated his determination to hang on to him. Butcher is out-of-contract in the Highlands at the end of the season and a new deal is on the table, but the 54-year-old’s indication to Cameron that he wanted to hear what Hibs had to say would appear to suggest that he sees the approach from the Capital outfit as an opportunity to pursue his managerial career elsewhere.
Should Butcher decide to make the move, he is expected to want to bring his management team of Maurice Malpas and Steve Marsella with him.
As things stand, Hibs only have permission to speak to Butcher himself. But once an agreement is struck, Hibs would then set about putting in place the backroom staff he desires, with the Highlanders said to be asking for £100,000 in compensation for the trio.
As fate would have it, Caley are due at Easter Road on Saturday, but Hibs have already stated that Jimmy Nicholl will take charge of the team again regardless of whether Butcher is appointed by then or not.
Meanwhile, Hibs kid Danny Handling has spoken of his delight at being recalled to the Scotland Under-21 squad for next week’s European Championship qualifying match against Georgia.
The 19-year-old had been named for the first time by coach Billy Stark for game against the Netherlands in August, but was forced to withdraw because of an ankle injury.
He said: “It was a big disappointment for me to have to pull out last time because of the injury, but I am fit again and I’m delighted with the news.”