Lee Johnson reveals preferred destination for Hibs' Ryan Porteous - and plays down Rangers link

Lee Johnson insists Hibs are still to receive any concrete offers for Ryan Porteous – including Thursday’s cinch Premiership opponents Rangers.
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Previewing the clash with the Light Blues – a match in which the 23-year-old is expected to feature, with his manager stating he is ‘absolutely available for selection’ – the Easter Road boss played down talk of Porteous swapping Edinburgh for Glasgow.

“I’ve spoken to him on a regular basis about potential options and he’s asked my advice on various clubs – Championship clubs, foreign clubs and stuff like that, but Rangers is not one of the ones that have come up,” Johnson said. “I’m not saying that doesn’t mean they’re in for him, but maybe they haven’t been as prominent as some of the other clubs. There are obviously potential suitors out there, I know the clubs that are interested but no one has gone, ‘bosh, there’s a deal’.”

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Porteous has turned down a bumper new contract offer to stay at Hibs but is unlikely to U-turn on his decision, despite Johnson joking that he hoped the defender might ‘come to his senses’ in the next few weeks and decide to stay at the Capital club.

Ryan Porteous is expected to be a man in demand next monthRyan Porteous is expected to be a man in demand next month
Ryan Porteous is expected to be a man in demand next month

He said: “I don’t think the percentile is in our favour. Don’t get me wrong, but a lot can happen. Touch wood he doesn’t, but let’s say he gets injured. He might get a one-week knock, he might get a four-month knock, then is someone going to sign him? Maybe, maybe not. A week is a long time in football. A set of circumstances can change drastically.”

Johnson admitted he would prefer to see Porteous head south, rather than going to another club in the Scottish Premiership, although there has been reported interest from Italy as well – where the player could join a former Easter Road colleague.

Josh Doig is a good marker for Italian clubs to look at the Scottish market; the Championship has always been hot on the Scottish market, as has the Premier League. I would personally prefer to see him go down south. It gets him in a different market and out of the way, because I like him and if I didn’t think he was any good I’d be happy for him to be playing for one of our rivals.”

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