Hibs wait on Leigh Griffiths loan bid decision

Leigh Griffiths has found first-team football hard to come by at Celtic. Pic: SNS
Leigh Griffiths has found first-team football hard to come by at Celtic. Pic: SNS
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Leigh Griffiths should find out in the next 48 hours if he will be allowed to move back to Hibs.

Hibs officials have been working to put together a package to sign the out-of-favour Celtic striker on an emergency 93-day loan, which is an option – ironically, not reliant on an “emergency” – open to all non-Premiership clubs in Scotland who wish to bring players in outwith the transfer window.

With Hibs having made their proposal, the move now hinges on whether or not Celtic decide they are willing to let him leave. A decision could be made as early as today.

Griffiths has not started a match for the Parkhead side since the second leg of the Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik on July 22, and has not even made the bench for any of their 
past three games since scoring an equaliser as a substitute against Dundee on August 31.

Celtic’s recent recruitment of strikers John Guidetti and Stefan Scepovic has done little to aid the 24-year-old’s chances of more prominent involvement, although manager Ronny Deila has already off-loaded fringe forwards Amido Balde and Teemu Pukki on loan.

Griffiths, a boyhood Hibs fan, spent a successful season and a half on loan at Easter Road from Wolves, which ended after the Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic in May 2013.

Former manager Pat Fenlon was desperate to retain his services beyond that, but his parent club, who had seen him earn rave reviews and a call-up to the Scotland squad while scoring 39 goals for the Hibees, decided to keep hold of him for the first half of last season before selling him to Celtic for £1million in January.

With his move to Glasgow having turned sour due to off-field misdemeanours and lack of game time, Griffiths is eager to return to Hibs, where he still enjoys hero status among the support. He attended their last home game, against Cowdenbeath, and is waiting anxiously to learn if his parent club will allow him to return to his home city to spearhead Hibs’ Championship promotion push.

If the deal is to be sanctioned this week, a 93-day loan would keep Griffiths at Hibs until just after Christmas. It remains to be seen what would happen beyond that for a player who still has more than three years left on his Celtic contract.