Hibs target Leigh Griffiths no longer a free agent - while ex-Easter Road loanee is on verge of huge deal

Leigh Griffiths was not even out of contract 24 hours before signing a new Celtic deal.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 10:35 am
Updated Thursday, 1st July 2021, 12:29 pm
Leigh Griffiths is now out of contract. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The striker’s Celtic had deal ran out at the end of June and when the team returned to pre-season training last week the 30-year-old wasn't part of it.

Instead, he has been working on his fitness on his own.

It had given Hibs fans hope that he could be set for a dramatic return.

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Speculation had surrounded his future with Aberdeen or and the Easter Road club linked with a move for Griffiths, but that has now ended with the player signing a new one-year deal.

Hibs boss Jack Ross has spoken of his admiration for Griffiths and that a move for the former Easter Road favourite would interest the club, even more so if Kevin Nisbet was to be sold after his exploits for Scotland.

While Griffiths may have signed a new deal, another former Hibs player is out of contract but could be close to joining a new club.

Ryan Gauld, who spent a short spell on loan at Easter Road, has officially left Portuguese side Farense despite protests from the club’s president who claims the player is still under contract.

Ryan Gauld has had success in Portugal. Picture: SNS

The former Dundee United star, who was one of the eye-catching stars in the Portuguese top-flight last season, is deliberating over a lucrative deal offered by MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps, while also being linked with Celtic and Benfica.

There are some other interesting former SPFL or Scotland stars out of contract.

Marley Watkins, a Scottish Cup winner with Inverness CT and impressed on loan at Aberdeen, has left Bristol City.

The 30-year-old Welsh international was a key component of a fine run by the Dons last season. His exit midway through the campaign was felt by the team.

Two players who have been without a club for a significant period – Jozo Simunovic and Ikechi Anya – remain available.

The former departed Celtic last summer. He is still only 26 and has plenty to offer.

Meanwhile, Anya, a 29-time Scotland international, has not played since leaving Derby County a year ago.

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