Hibs must play waiting game over Anthony Stokes

Hibs have made an official approach to sign Anthony Stokes on loan
Hibs have made an official approach to sign Anthony Stokes on loan
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Hibs are waiting to learn if they have been successful with their bid to bring former striker Anthony Stokes back to Easter Road on loan from Celtic.

The Capital club made an official approach to the Parkhead board on Tuesday in an effort to secure the services of the Irishman until the end of the season.

Celtic have made it clear that Stokes is available to go out on loan after falling out of favour under Ronny Deila, but it remains to be seen where he will end up. No timescale has been put on when the 27-year-old’s move away from the club will be sanctioned, but their manager is hopeful of a swift resolution.

“He has some options and so do we,” said Deila. “He has to go on loan to play games and get running again. It hasn’t been decided what club but hopefully that will be very quick. It’s not only his decision, it has to be right for us but if he doesn’t want to go then it cannot happen. There has to be an agreement.”

In addition to Hibs, Inverness and Dundee United have both been credited with an interest in Stokes while English clubs are also monitoring his situation. It is believed that he is keen to return to Easter Road, where he scored 24 goals in a year-long stint before being signed by the Glasgow side for around £800,000 at the end of the summer transfer window in 2010.

Deila explained that Celtic want him to go to a club where he is likely to play regularly, which would appear to count in Hibs’ favour. When it was suggested to the Norwegian that his club would prefer Stokes to join an English team who might be better equipped financially to pick up a sizeable chunk of his £8000 weekly wage, he said: “Only if he plays. That is the most important thing. We want him to go to the highest level, but he has to play. He has been out for a long time and it’s important that he goes to a place where he is important for the team.”

Asked if the Scottish Championship was a realistic option for Stokes, Deila added: “We will see. There are clubs in Scotland and England and I don’t want to comment on it before things happen.”

Although aware that Stokes is intrigued by the prospect of returning to Easter Road, Hibs, who were thwarted in a similar move to land Leigh Griffiths from Celtic a year ago, must simply play the waiting game until they learn if their approach for Stokes comes to fruition.