Ryan Porteous contract latest as Hibs boss Lee Johnson says defender 'deserves Scotland call-up'

Hibs manager Lee Johnson insists there is nothing new to add on the current status of contract talks with Ryan Porteous.

The 23-year-old is out of contract in the Capital next summer and although there is a significant offer for him on the table, the centre-back has not agreed new terms. When he last spoke about the situation he suggested the situation would be revisited during the break for the 2022 World Cup, and Johnson believes the matter will be dealt with later in the month.

“Let’s get this game out of the way and then in the next press conference we can embrace those types of questions. I don’t know any more from two or three weeks ago, when it was parked. It will be, ‘what are you doing?’ And it will be, ‘I am or I’m not’, but at the moment he’s obviously playing and it’s not something you want to push while he’s playing,” the Hibs boss said, as he previewed Saturday’s cinch Premiership match against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

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Although most of the Hibs first-team squad have been granted eight days off, Porteous will head to Turkey with the Scotland squad for a friendly during the upcoming break but before then will almost certainly line up in Ayrshire in the final fixture before the Scottish top flight pauses for the duration of the tournament. Johnson is of the opinion that a change of scene might be beneficial for the centre-back, who impressed on his national team debut in the goalless Nations League draw with Ukraine in Poland in September.

“Three or four weeks ago, we were all hailing Ryan as a hero. This is part of being a footballer. Your form can go up and down and I think he’d say that off the ball his defending hasn’t been as good as it had been leading into that spell,” he added.

“He’s a very honest player. He can look at himself and be honest with that. Not everybody can and that’s a good sign; that’s why he’s an international player. But I think he deserves his call-up. A change is as good as a rest, in that sense, in terms of his focus being on Scotland and something different and he’ll be fine when he comes back to us.”

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Ryan Porteous, wearing a t-shirt supporting the work of the Back Onside charity ahead of the match with Ross County, has a significant offer on the table from Hibs