Hibs transfer state of play as Lee Johnson speaks on Luke McCormick links and potential departures

Lee Johnson has suggested up to four players could depart Hibs before the end of the transfer window as he looks to fine-tune his squad for the 2022/23 campaign.

A raft of new faces arrived at Easter Road this summer with permanent deals for Martin Boyle, Rocky Bushiri, Marijan Čabraja, Ewan Henderson, Nohan Kenneh, David Marshall, Kyle McClelland, Lewis Miller, and Jair Tavares while Momodou Bojang and Élie Youan are on loan from Rainbow and St. Gallen respectively.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Hibs manager admitted he would ‘like to add a couple’ but stressed he wanted ‘quality not quantity’.

Johnson added: “We’re a young side and that comes with huge potential but at times you just want that daddy figure or experience dotted around.

"We’ve got quite a few injured at the moment which isn’t ideal but when those players come back they will be like new signings."

The club has been linked with AFC Wimbledon midfielder Luke McCormick but while he is a player the club likes and on whom they are keeping tabs, Johnson refused to be drawn on the reports.

"We get linked with a lot of players, don’t we? We’ve got a number of players on our list in every position and all clubs at these levels have the same, but it would be very rude of me to speak about someone else’s player,” he said.

Ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Premiership clash with Rangers in the Capital, Johnson spoke about the possibility of players leaving the club.

Lee Johnson spoke to Sky Sports ahead of Saturday's home game against Rangers

"There’s a natural evolution in every squad in every window. You’re always trying to add quality, nurture quality, develop quality, and loser the bottom four or five per cent of your squad that you don’t think are good enough or don’t fit your particular style,” he explained.

“Part of the nurturing process is to help the younger lads grow through the levels and the loan system works very well across the UK.

"It’s definitely an option for us. I want to add quality not quantity but I think there’s two or three, maybe even three or four who would be better served playing football somewhere else on loan or permanently.”

Slovak striker Adam Griger has been looked at as a potential recruit for the Hibs development squad but while he remains on the club’s radar, there is no move imminent.

There are currently seven players out on long-term loans, with Stevie Bradley and Runar Hauge at Irish side Dundalk; Jack Brydon, Allan Delferrière, and Emmanuel Johnson with partner club FC Edinburgh, while João Baldé has joined East Fife and Daniel MacKay has re-joined former side Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Scotland Under-19 goalkeeper Murray Johnson signed an emergency loan with Airdrieonians on July 30 to provide cover for injured Diamonds No.1 Josh Rae.

The 17-year-old made his debut and kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory away at Peterhead on the same day, and has since played in a 4-0 win against Falkirk and 1-1 draw with Queen of the South.

Johnson’s loan will continue on a rolling basis, with Rae’s shoulder injury likely to keep him sidelined for a number of weeks.

Meanwhile fellow ‘keeper Tom Carter has returned from a loan spell with Lowland League newcomers Tranent Juniors.