Jake Doyle-Hayes sets record straight over Hibs transfer and St Mirren contract offer
Hibs midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes has set the record straight on his summer move to Easter Road, insisting that he was never as close to signing a new deal at St Mirren as was made out.
The Irishman pitched up in the Capital as a free agent just hours after Dundee United looked set to be his next destination. But, speaking to the Down the Slope podcast, the 22-year-old said it had been a no-brainer to join Hibs – and that comments made by Buddies boss Jim Goodwin about a new deal weren’t strictly accurate.
"There was interest from other teams but then I got a call from Jack Ross and I didn’t really have any other thought in my head to be honest. I was asking when I could come in,” the midfielder recalled.
"It was a big opportunity; I knew how big a club it was. I’d spoken to the manager and he told me about where he wanted to take the club, and his plans for the team, and I bought into it straight away. It was a no-brainer. It’s a great place to be and I’m delighted to be here and I think I’ve settled in quite well.”
There had been some suggestion that the former Aston Villa youngster might extend his stay in Paisley but Doyle-Hayes denied that was ever the case.
"St Mirren had offered me a deal before Christmas last year,” he explained. “I sat down with my agent and we decided we weren't going to sign anything there and then.
"The manager knew that but I felt he was telling the fans I was close to signing a new deal when I never really was.
"The fans were obviously going off what he was saying and I think they thought I left as soon as Hibs were interested but I was never close to signing a new deal.”
Doyle-Hayes also admitted he was keen to shake off the defensive midfielder label he feels waas attached to him during his time at St Mirren.
"I can do that side of the game but I’ve always seen myself as a number eight – although I know I need to score more and assist more to take the tag away from me.”