Hibs transfer latest: Defenders on the radar as goalkeeper is recalled and winger heads for MLS
Hibs chiefs are currently in talks with Oxford United over a move for Scottish defender Stuart Findlay as the Easter Road side looks to bring in reinforcements following confirmation of Rocky Bushiri’s injury lay-off.
The Belgian defender faces at least three months on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury during last week’s Scottish Cup defeat by Hearts. With Ryan Porteous closing in on a move to Watford, Hibs are light on central defensive options.
Findlay came through the ranks at Celtic without making a first-team appearance before joining Newcastle United, but he returned to Scotland with Kilmarnock, initially on loan, before joining permanently. He left Rugby Park for Philadelphia Union in the USA in 2021 before moving to Oxford in 2022 but after falling out of favour with U’s boss Karl Robinson, the 27-year-old could be allowed to leave.
Wright still an option
Sunderland defender Bailey Wright also remains an option for Hibs. Aberdeen were linked but the Dons have also been credited with an interest in Fulham and Scotland Under-21 defender Connor McAvoy.
Wright was signed by Easter Road boss Lee Johnson during his time at Bristol City, and the pair were reunited at Sunderland when the current Hibs boss took the reins at the Stadium of Light in December 2020. Blacks Cats boss Tony Mowbray refused to rule out a departure for the 30-year-old before the window closes, saying ahead of their FA Cup trip to Fulham: "If Bailey hasn't got options, he stays. If he has a lot of options and wants to take one of them, we have to assess whether we can make that happen or let that happen. I've been really honest with Bailey and where I see him in the pecking order of the defensive options we have got.
"I would like to support him in whatever decision he makes. He’s a really good human being, a really good guy. Even when he is not stripped, he is in the dressing room encouraging everybody and being a real vocal part of the team.”
Schofield recalled, Johnson MLS-bound
In terms of outgoings, Ryan Schofield has been recalled by Huddersfield after first-choice goalkeeper Lee Nicholls was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. The 23-year-old didn’t feature for Hibs but Johnson said: “We’d like to thank Ryan for the way he conducted himself around the club and the high standards he showed in training. He’s been a top professional and person to work with.”
Schofield’s departure paves the way for highly-rated teenager Murray Johnson to step up as back-up to No.1 David Marshall, with Tom Carter assuming third-choice duties with Kevin Dąbrowski on loan at Queen of the South.
Another player leaving Hibs, at least on a temporary basis, is American winger Emmanuel ‘EJ’ Johnson, who is on the verge of signing a season-long loan deal with MLS outfit Austin FC.
The 19-year-old was signed by Hibs in January last year and played 14 times for Charleston Battery in the USL Championship before securing a work permit and being recalled by the Easter Road club in June. He has been playing for the Hibs development side and also scored twice and registered one assist during a 12-game loan spell with FC Edinburgh during the first half of the season.