Efe Ambrose has insisted he won’t be rushed into deciding his future but admitted he would find it hard to turn down the chance to sign a permanent deal with Hibs.
The Celtic defender has proved a huge hit with the fans since arriving on an emergency loan, helping the club clinch the Championship title and promotion to the Premiership.
He is out of contract with the Hoops at the end of the season but the 28-year-old will return to Celtic Park to ponder his future although Brendan Rodgers has made it clear he isn’t part of his plans.
Hibs boss Neil Lennon, who signed the Nigerian internationalist for Celtic, wants Ambrose to stay in Edinburgh, the close bond between manager and player clear as they shared an emotional hug as the Championship trophy was presented following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with St Mirren.
While adamant he’ll weigh up his options, Ambrose admitted the close affinity he clearly has with Lennon and the “love” shown to him by the Hibs support won’t be forgotten.
Of the embrace he and Lennon had, he said: “When someone gives you the opportunity not once but twice, then I wanted to give him a hug to say ‘thank you’.
“He wants me to stay but it is not up to me. We will see what the future holds. My agent will speak to the club and you never know what is going to happen.
“Of course, I would consider staying with Hibs because the fans showed me love and I enjoy working with the manager who signed me for Celtic and them brought me to Hibs. So if it comes my way again then it will be hard to turn down.”
Ambrose admitted he’d hugely enjoyed his time with Hibs, revealing he was “excited” by what he had experienced over the past few months and that, even although he’d regularly picked up silverware with Celtic, he’d been touched by becoming a winner again in green and white.
He said: “It was quite emotional. I have been in this position before and I know what winning a trophy means to me and to the club.
“For some guys, it was their first time and they have been waiting for this occasion for two to three years.
“So you can understand why they were celebrating the way we did, although we have been celebrating for two or three weeks since we won the title.
“Saturday was a special day for the fans and the club – and for Edinburgh – to see Hibs back in the Premiership.
“Winning trophies is what everyone wants to be part of and it was great for me to be part of this winning team and celebrate with these young guys who are hungry for success.
“You could see it in their eyes. They could not wait for this day. So it was quite emotional to see everyone connected with the club so excited.
“Winning trophies is a plus but it is about the philosophy of this club and the objectives – that’s what motivates me, When I came to Hibs and I saw the boys and the structure of the team I was excited to be part of it.
“I will go back to Celtic to consider the rest of the season and from there you never know what is going to happen.”