Hibs transfer latest: The eight Easter Road players out of contract and what the future may hold

Hibs have eight first-team players out of contract in the summer, enabling them to open talks with potential suitors and sign pre-contract deals this month.

By Patrick McPartlin
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 7:35 pm
Alex Gogic, James Scott, and Jamie Murphy are all out of contract in the summer

Of the eight, one is loanee James Scott who is due to return to parent club Hull City at the end of the 2021/22 season. But included in the other seven players is a near ever-present defender, a winger, and four midfielders, while Jamie Gullan, who has joined Raith Rovers on a permanent deal, was another whose contract had entered its final six months. The 22-year-old returned to Stark’s Park for a fourth time, after hitting 14 goals in 50 appearances for the Fifers across three loan spells in Kirkcaldy.

Scott Allan

The number ten’s contract expires at the end of the campaign and while he has one goal and five assists from 18 mostly substitute appearances in all competitions, he was benched for the 3-1 Boxing Day victory over Dundee United just four days after starting in the 1-0 win against Aberdeen.

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Drey Wright and Scott Allan are also out of contract in the summer

Hibs have been linked with a number of players who operate in similar positions to Allan while Kyle Magennis was utilised in the attacking midfield role early in the campaign.

Alex Gogic

Midfielder came off the bench in the first half of the victory over the Dons but wasn’t listed for the trip to Tannadice. Even before the arrival of Shaun Maloney, Gogic wasn’t featuring as much as last year, with Jack Ross preferring Jake Doyle-Hayes, Joe Newell, and latterly Josh Campbell as his main central midfielders.

He has already been linked with Morecambe, Ross County, and St Mirren in this window but a switch abroad has also been mooted and he may move on for regular first-team games.

McGinn believes the Hibs defence is capable of improvement

Melker Hallberg

This is a curious one. Hallberg hasn’t made a competitive appearance this season after suffering a particularly gruesome knee injury in the summer but he returned to the matchday squad as an unused substitute for the United game and the Swede could get a chance to impress and potentially win a new contract before the summer.

Hallberg has been deployed in defence, midfield, and up front so his versatility might be valuable in Shaun Maloney’s system.

Sean Mackie

The 23-year-old has had a torrid time with injuries but has still managed a decent three assists from 13 league games in green and white. Mackie can operate at left back or left wing-back but with Josh Doig and Lewis Stevenson also at the club, his future appears uncertain. Is back in training after his latest set-back but it remains to be seen if he will be granted a chance to impress under Maloney – although the new manager has repeatedly said that every player has a clean slate.

Paul McGinn

The vice-captain has been a near ever-present for Hibs this term and has chipped in with a goal and two assists from his 17 appearances. Out of contract in the summer with Hibs having an option to extend for a further 12 months but the pursuit and expected arrival of Harry Clarke may put the 31-year-old’s place at risk. If Shaun Maloney is eager to maintain a three-at-the-back strategy, Clarke may well suit that set-up more than McGinn. Steady and reliable enough and can play more than one position but a January departure would surely be an immense surprise.

Jamie Murphy

The 32-year-old hasn’t had his injury problems to seek since joining Hibs last summer, initially on loan from Rangers. Suffered a minor setback earlier this term but since his return Hibs have played eight league matches, winning four, drawing two, and losing two. Murphy has mostly been utilised as a substitute and has chipped in with two goals and an assist since the end of November and while there may be question marks over his ability to stay fit, has undoubted quality and would be a good option to have for the remainder of the season.

James Scott

Forward hasn’t had the best of times since his temporary switch from Hull City, failing to find the net and being told publicly to get fitter by previous Hibs boss Jack Ross. Loan deal runs until the end of the 2021/22 season and the arrival of Shaun Maloney may give him a chance to kickstart his time at Easter Road. Ross hinted after the deal was struck that Scott could be a long-term option for the side, saying: “It’s a possibility, but I think a lot of things would have to come together for that to be the case.”

The pursuit of Elias Melkersen may have an impact on Scott’s future in the Capital but Hibs aren’t exactly well-stocked in the final third and Gullan’s situation could also affect Scott’s position.

Drey Wright

The midfielder appeared to well out of the picture at Easter Road, reduced to the odd substitute appearance here and there, but he was handed a rare start against Dundee United on Boxing Day and acquitted himself well in the hour or so that he was on the park. He revealed after the game that he had been eyeing an exit in January but his situation may well have changed.

In conclusion…

With the exception of Scott, all of these players could command a fee were they to move on this month, unless an alternative arrangement was reached such as an initial loan followed by a permanent contract in the summer. A lot depends on Maloney's view of them too. Some of them will almost certainly be after more regular gametime. The situations of all eight could hinge on what Hibs do in the transfer window – so it might be a long January for some of them.