Hibs squad size updated after contract decisions are made and loans expire

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Easter Road squad takes shape as decisions are made and update is anticipated

Hibs will go into June with 23 first-team players under contract, with five players being released and another youngster heading for the exit door imminently after turning down a new contract.

Four players have already departed to re-join their parent clubs after the summer following loan spells at Easter Road, while another eight players will be returning to Hibernian Training Centre near Ormiston for pre-season after loan spells elsewhere.

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As the month of May comes to an end and contracts expire, clubs up and down the country are issuing retained lists to keep fans up to date with the state of play before the transfer window opens on Wednesday, June 14. There are not too many surprises from Hibs, but difficult decisions have still had to be made.

Aiden McGeady has been released after only playing 14 times this season due to injury problemsAiden McGeady has been released after only playing 14 times this season due to injury problems
Aiden McGeady has been released after only playing 14 times this season due to injury problems

Veteran winger Aiden McGeady is one of five players who have been released after missing most of the season through injury. The 37-year-old joined on a one-year contract last summer after his departure from Sunderland, but injury problems limited the former Ireland international to only 14 appearances. That last of them came against Kilmarnock in February when he suffered a torn hamstring.

Defender Mikey Devlin and goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski are also out of contract and won’t be returning, but we already knew that. Young right-back and Josh McCulloch and goalkeeper Tom Carter have also been released.

The sixth anticipated departure is 18-year-old forward Ethan Laidlaw, who is poised to join Watford after rejecting the offer of a new contract at Hibs. The EFL Championship club are understood to be negotiating a compensation package for the Scotland Under-19 international, with reports suggesting it could amount to £250,000.

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CJ Egan-Riley, Will Fish, Matthew Hoppe and Mykola Kukharevych are the four on-loan players who have left and will report back their parent clubs after the summer break. Manager Lee Johnson, however, is thought to be keen on bringing Fish back from Manchester United, either on another loan or a permanent deal. The 20-year-old centre-back’s contract at Old Trafford runs until the summer of 2025.

Kukharevych, the 21-year-old Ukrainian striker who was on loan from French club Troyes, is another Johnson may be tempted to bring back in some capacity, especially with Kevin Nisbet’s future uncertain. Hibs expect offers for the Scotland striker when the transfer window opens.

The four senior players who will be returning to Hibs following loan spells elsewhere will be midfielder Nohan Kenneh, winger Daniel Mackay and strikers Christian Doidge and Elias Melkersen. The latter spent the second half of the season on loan at Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch top flight but the Norwegian forward made only two substitute appearances and was on the field for a total of nine minutes.

Development squad players will also be returning to Hibs from loan spells at other clubs and include central defender Jacob Blaney, right-back Kanayo Megwa, and midfielders Dylan Tait and Robbie Hamilton. Those who are retained will be working under new academy director Gareth Evans next season or may be sent out on loan again unless they are considered ready for a place in the first-team squad.

First Team players under contract in 2023/24

David Marshall

Murray Johnson

Lewis Miller

Marijan Čabraja

Paul Hanlon

Chris Cadden

Lewis Stevenson

Rocky Bushiri

Kyle Magennis

Jake Doyle-Hayes

Jair Tavares

Joe Newell

Jimmy Jeggo

Ewan Henderson

Josh Campbell

Martin Boyle

Kevin Nisbet

Harry McKirdy

Elie Youan

Nohan Kenneh

Christian Doidge

Elias Melkersen

Daniel Mackay