Emerson Hyndman has told both Hibs and Bournemouth he wants to see out the rest of the season at Easter Road.
The American midfielder’s six-month loan spell in Edinburgh is coming to an end, but he hopes the clubs can agree to extend that deal.
He said: “I have kind of given my opinion on it so it’s up to them. I know there are injury concerns at Bournemouth at the moment, particularly in midfield, but I don’t know what their thoughts are.
“I’m going to leave it up to the clubs and we’ll go from there. But yes, I’d be happy to stay with Hibs beyond the current deal which runs to January.”
Playing under Neil Lennon was, Hyndman admitted, a factor in his thinking, saying: “He’s definitely up there. He’s a great manager.
“From what he’s done in football, he’s obviously got a lot of experience behind him. Just to learn from a guy like that on the pitch every day, his opinion goes so far, especially with me because I’m a young midfielder.
“I know what he’d done in the past. Everything he says to me is an opportunity for me to learn and when I joined Hibs I was delighted.”
In the meantime, the 22-year-old is concentrating on playing football – starting with tonight’s clash with Rangers, where he spent time on loan two seasons ago.
Hyndman feels he is better equipped now to cope with the demands of the Scottish Premiership as he and his Easter Road team-mates seek an Old Firm double, having beaten Celtic 2-0 only four days ago.
He said: “I obviously hadn’t played very much football at the point I joined Rangers. It was about getting my fitness up, getting used to playing again.
“I was two years younger than I am now, I was inexperienced as a footballer as it was my first loan.
“However, I enjoyed the experience, I enjoyed being at Rangers at the time. I was just learning and I think that’s what it’s all about when you are at that age.”
Hyndman signed off from his temporary stay at Ibrox by suffering a 5-1 home defeat by Celtic, a result which made Sunday’s win over Brendan Rodgers’ side all the sweeter for him.
He said: “It was definitely nice to get a win over Celtic, finally. I had a couple of games before that when it didn’t go to plan. We all knew it was going to be a tough game – it always is against Celtic – but I think the attitude we showed and the positivity was really good, especially after our recent run.”
A third successive win tonight would push Hibs back into the top half of the table, but Hyndman knows Neil Lennon’s players face just as tough a challenge as at the weekend, with Rangers having secured top spot and in no mood to relinquish it.
Agreeing that as a playmaker he had to attend as much to his defensive duties, he said: “We wanted to start well, but scoring in the first minute against Celtic is not normally what happens.
“I knew it would be a tough game both ways. Obviously the second half was a little more defensive because we had the lead and we wanted to hit them on the break. We all knew we had to put in a shift.
“I am a little more attack-minded, but I needed to do what I need to do for the team, that involves helping the right-back out sometimes and sometimes the other midfielders. It was a good shift, but it was worth it in the end.”
Now Hyndman expects just as tough a test against a Rangers side which bares little resemblance to the one which he played in, with only James Tavernier and Andy Halliday remaining to enjoy the resurgence the Ibrox club has enjoyed under new boss Steven Gerrard.
He said: “It will be another tough shift. They have quality just as we do, it should be a good battle. Obviously we are on the back of a good result, so we will go into it with a positive mindset and see what happens.
“A lot of things have changed since I was there, but a few of the lads are still there. I haven’t been in touch much, but I’m happy to see some of the boys I now playing and doing well.”
Hyndman revealed that he is unsure what sort of reception he’ll get from the Rangers support which, like that of Celtic, will be restricted to just one half of Easter Road’s South Stand, saying: “I can’t tell them what to do.
“I’m up for anything. Obviously I enjoyed my time there and I don’t have any hard feelings towards them at all. I really enjoyed the support when I was there. But football is football, you go where you have to go.”
Rangers will have 17-goal Alfredo Morelos back from suspension but, insisted Hyndman, Hibs can look to a rejuvenated Florian Kamberi to help steer them to what he believes would be a huge statement of intent.
He added: “Flo sometimes gets criticism, but he knows it is all to be a better player. Sunday’s goal will give him confidence.”