Hibs transfers: The state of play before deadline day - Bailey Wright, Stuart Findlay, Deji Oshilaja, Francisco Ferro, outgoings, targets
Two in, ten out – could there be further comings and goings at Easter Road before midnight on Tuesday?
Hibs are in the unusual position of playing a cinch Premiership match – against Ross County in Dingwall – on deadline day. Although both clubs supposedly agreed to the fixture switch, manager Lee Johnson admitted he would rather play the game on Wednesday if he had the option.
That may mean that any outstanding transfer business is actually completed well before the deadline, rather than a repeat of recent windows when new players have been announced in the wee small hours.
Jimmy Jeggo has already arrived from KAS Eupen and CJ Egan-Riley on loan from Burnley until the end of the season. Ten players have departed Hibs permanently or on a temporary basis after Johnson suggested at the start of the month that he needed to trim his bloated squad and bring in a small number of quality additions.
So what else are we expecting from Hibs before the deadline?
Hibs have brought in Jeggo to bolster the midfield, and Egan-Riley who can provide options in defence and in the middle of the park. Johnson is keen to add another experienced central defender to his squad before the deadline but the availability of the versatile Egan-Riley is understood to have ended the club’s interest in former Kilmarnock stopper Stuart Findlay, and Sunderland centre-back Bailey Wright, with the pair no longer under consideration. The latter is believed to be happy to fight for his place at the Stadium of Light and it’s a similar story with Findlay, who only joined Oxford United last summer.
Reports that Hibs have had a bid rejected for Burton Albion’s Deji Oshilaja are wide of the mark while Francisco Ferro is also not an option, despite reports suggesting Hibs were favourites for the Benfica defender on a loan deal until the end of the season. The Evening News understands there are no immediate plans to add in the other areas of the park with Johnson keen to use youth players to supplement his squad.
Things can always change dramatically at short notice in football, and especially during a transfer window but with ten departures already confirmed, there are unlikely to be any more high-profile exits before the deadline. It is possible that some development-squad players may head out on loan, but despite interest in Jake Doyle-Hayes from England and abroad, the Irishman is set to remain at Easter Road.
Kevin Nisbet is also staying. Johnson said as much after the Aberdeen game, in which the 25-year-old climbed off the bench to score the fourth goal in a 6-0 win, although a dead leg suffered in the Scottish Cup defeat by Hearts limited his ability to train before the Dons game and it may be touch-and-go whether he starts in Dingwall.
How is the squad shaping up?
Goalkeepers: David Marshall, Murray Johnson, Tom Carter. Right-backs: Chris Cadden, Lewis Miller, Kanayo Megwa. Left-backs: Lewis Stevenson, Marijan Čabraja, Oscar MacIntyre. Centre-backs: Rocky Bushiri [INJ], Paul Hanlon, Will Fish, CJ Egan-Riley, AN Other. Central midfielders: Jimmy Jeggo, Joe Newell, Josh Campbell, Jake Doyle-Hayes, Kyle Magennis, Ewan Henderson. Wingers: Aiden McGeady, Élie Youan, Jair Tavares, Martin Boyle [INJ]. Centre-forwards: Kevin Nisbet, Harry McKirdy, Mykola Kukharevych [INJ], Josh O’Connor, Ethan Laidlaw.