Hibs: Jake Doyle-Hayes brushes off transfer links as he targets 'real impact' at Easter Road

Hibs midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes has insisted there was never any chance of him leaving the club in January amid transfer interest, as he hinted at his hopes of a long-term stay in the Capital.

The Irish midfielder has suffered an injury-disrupted season, playing just 12 times in all competitions, but still attracted interest from clubs in England, including Forest Green Rovers – who had a bid accepted by Hibs – and Italy during the winter window.

But speaking ahead of Saturday’s cinch Premiership clash with Motherwell, the 24-year-old was adamant when asked if the chance to leave the Easter Road side had given him something to think about.

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“For me, no. I didn't want to leave Hibs – I'm settled here. I know I wasn't playing much football but I wanted to get fit and get back in the team,” he said. “I've got a young family who are settled here. We love the city and I love playing for the club so I was really happy to stay. I'm not looking to leave and go anywhere else. I'm happy here. It's been tough not playing. I haven't had many seasons like this where I've not been playing because of a long-term injury but it's just part of football. I've seen other players have long-term injuries. I'm just happy to be back."

Jake Doyle-Hayes is keen to make his mark with HibsJake Doyle-Hayes is keen to make his mark with Hibs
Jake Doyle-Hayes is keen to make his mark with Hibs

Manager Lee Johnson spoke highly of the midfielder in January and admitted he didn’t want the former Aston Villa youngster to leave, pointing out that he was keen to help improve the midfielder.

"Jake is a good football player,” he said back in January. “I think me and my coaching staff can improve him – can I get him to play forward more, can I get him in positions where he can play forward and dictate the game with the skillset he already has, making sure the blend is right next to him, controlling the middle of the pitch rather than the half-spaces?”

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“It was good to hear the gaffer saying he wanted to keep me,” Doyle-Hayes added. “I want to play for this club and try to get my place back in the team. Once I do that, I want to hold on to my shirt. I love playing at Easter Road and want to make a real impact here.”