Hibs were today due to kick off their competitive campaign amid a wave of uncertainty over the future of talisman Scott Allan.
While the club remain steadfast in their stance that their star midfielder player will not be sold to Rangers, news that the 23-year-old has intimated a desire to move west has cast an unsettling shadow over Easter Road ahead of today’s Petrofac Cup match between the two sides.
Rangers have made two bids for Allan this week, with both deemed to be derisory and dismissed instantly by Hibs who are becoming increasingly irked with the Ibrox club’s pursuit of the player.
The first offer was of £175,000 – an amount publicised by Hibs on their website – before the Ibrox club returned on Thursday with a bid in the region of £225,000, which was again thrown out.
Allan, a boyhood Rangers fan, is believed to have made Hibs aware that he is keen to move along the M8 and, with so much potentially unsettling talk about his future, it remains to be seen if he will play against his suitors in today’s lunchtime encounter at Easter Road.
Hibs fans will be desperate to see their star man in the starting line-up, as Alan Stubbs is short of alternative options for today’s match. With Dan Carmichael injured and fellow new recruit Marvin Bartley short of match fitness, Fraser Fyvie and Sam Stanton are the only other fit and recognised midfielders at the head coach’s disposal. Danny Handling, who scored in last season’s 2-1 defeat by Rangers in the same competition, is also out, the midfielder undergoing surgery on his cruciate knee ligament injury yesterday.
Meanwhile, Hibs continued their pursuit of John McGinn when they invited the highly-regarded midfielder to East Mains yesterday. St Mirren are entitled to compensation for the 20-year-old after they offered him a new contract which he subsequently turned down. Hibs had a move for the midfielder rebuffed by the Buddies last month. If the two clubs are unable to reach an agreement and he ends up at Easter Road, a tribunal would be required to decide how much Hibs would have to pay the Paisley club. McGinn also has interest from Dundee United and Houston Dynamo.