Hibs keen on permanent Will Fish deal - but move hinges on player, Manchester United, and finances
Hibs are exploring the possibility of signing Will Fish on a permanent basis – but any move will hinge on Manchester United’s decision over the defender’s future.
The 20-year-old is under contract with the English Premier League side until the summer of 2025, with an option of a further year, and has impressed during his Easter Road loan spell. Fish has struck up a good partnership with Paul Hanlon at the heart of defence since arriving from Old Trafford, scoring twice in 11 cinch Premiership matches and contributing to five clean sheets in his time on the pitch.
Manager Lee Johnson is a big fan of the player, describing him as a ‘very, very good player… if you wanted to build a centre-half, Will Fish is what you’d build’. There is no option to buy included in the terms of the loan arrangement, as there is with French forward Élie Youan, and as things stand Fish will remain with the Capital club until the end of the current campaign before returning to Manchester.
However, there is serious interest from Hibs in extending his stay, and chief executive Ben Kensell told the Evening News last month that talks were already taking place in a bid to determine the future of all loan players at the club.
"In terms of having conversations, we absolutely are, so we can ascertain what value we would need to get to, to bring them to the club on a full-time basis,” he said. “But there’s another club involved, and the player needs to want it to happen as well. If you’re asking me if I believe the finances are in place to make decisions that are educated based on them playing in Scottish football and doing well for Hibs then the answer is yes. They aren’t calculated risks, we know what they can do.”
Much depends on the parent club’s decision – whether they want to sell, or negotiate another loan deal – but there are several players ahead of Fish in the United central defensive pecking order which could have an impact on the player’s decision.
Any movement is highly unlikely until the summer, but Hibs are keen to do everything possible to ensure Fish is playing his football in green and white next season.