'A great opportunity' - Kristoffer Tønnessen reflects on Hibs interest as IK Start defender discusses future
IK Start captain Kristoffer Tønnessen has spoken about interest from Hibs towards the end of the summer transfer window.
The left-back was identified as a replacement for Josh Doig if the young full-back left Easter Road as the Capital club put a contingency plan in place as the hours ticked down.
No move was forthcoming for the Scotland Under-21 internationalist and Tønnessen remained at Start, although the Norwegian outfit added another left-back to their ranks as back-up.
"We always knew that everything depended on [Doig] leaving. There was never any indication that a move was particularly close,” the 23-year-old told Fædrelandsvennen.
Tønnessen has spoken of his desire to play abroad at some point in his career, adding: “It would have been a great opportunity for me to play in the Scottish Premiership.
"It’s nice [to be noticed by bigger clubs] but at the same time I’m not happy with my performances so far this season.
"Hopefully I can do better in the second half of the campaign and attract the attention of even bigger clubs."
Start boss Sindre Tjelmeland was relieved to hang onto his skipper but conceded he was braced for further interest in the Grimstad-born player who still has two years left on his contract with the Kristiansand club.
"Even though we always want to give our players an opportunity to move to bigger clubs, it’s great for me as a coach that we got to keep Kris,” Tjelmeland said.
"It’s completely understandable that he wasn’t performing at his best [amid the speculation]. Now we have put a temporary end to it, he can show how important he is to the team.”