LEIGH Griffiths has urged Hibs and Wolves to sort out his future as soon as possible, telling them: “I want to stay at Easter Road.”
The Hibs-daft striker first arrived in Edinburgh on an initial half-season loan deal 16 months ago and two further agreements have been struck to allow him to remain in a green and white shirt, but now the two clubs are in talks with Hibs desperate to keep their top scorer until the end of the season.
Boss Pat Fenlon has admitted that while he wants to keep Griffiths and his other two loan signings, Manchester City defender Ryan McGivern and Honduran midfielder Jorge Claros, the final decision will lie with their parent clubs although he hopes the desire of all three to stay with Hibs will help swing things the way of the Capital outfit.
As it stands Griffiths’ last match for Hibs – should Wolves demand he returns to Molineux to see out the last few months of his contract – would be against his former club Dundee at Easter Road when the SPL returns to action on January 19 following the winter break which kicks in after Thursday’s derby at Tynecastle.
But now Griffiths has revealed he’s as anxious to remain with Hibs as the club and their fans are to see him stay. The 22-year-old hitman said: “I have told them I want to stay so now I just want it done as quickly as possible but I need to wait and see.
“We still have a big game coming up on Thursday then we have a two-week break. If it doesn’t happen by then my last game will be at home against Dundee.”
However, asked how likely he felt it might be that he’d stay with Hibs until the end of the season, Griffiths added: “I am hoping. They are speaking, so I am hoping it’s done in the next week or so.”
Having been told at the start of the season he had no future in the English Midlands, the Molineux club are said to be looking for a fee of £150,000 although his impressive strike-rate has resulted in Wolves boss Stale Solbakken recently disclosing that he’s sent members of his backroom staff to watch Griffiths in action.
And Hibs could well find others interested with Griffiths’ winner against Celtic his 14th of the season, his strike earning Pat Fenlon’s side a first victory against the Hoops on their own turf in four years.
Griffiths nicked in between Celtic defender Thomas Rogne and goalkeeper Fraser Forster to collect team-mate Paul Hanlon’s long ball, before sliding it home from a tight angle. He said: “I just remember the long ball being played forward so I gambled the defender would miss it.”
While Eoin Doyle missed a glorious opportunity minutes later to double Hibs’ lead, Fenlon’s side survived a predictable onslaught from Celtic to end a run of three successive defeats at home.
Griffiths said: “We knew they were going to come at us but in the end you have to give credit to our boys, we dug in and got the win we deserved. Obviously going into the game we hadn’t been looking too good, we knew it was going to be difficult but our fans got right behind us from the first whistle and we got there in the end.”