Ryan Porteous Hibs contract update as Lee Johnson says interest from other clubs is 'inevitable'

Hibs manager Lee Johnson insists scouts ‘wouldn’t be doing their job’ if they weren’t keeping an eye on Easter Road defender Ryan Porteous.
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Representatives from Millwall are understood to have been running the rule over the 23-year-old in recent weeks having had an approach rebuffed in January last year. The Lions had a deadline-day bid of £1 million knocked back by Hibs chiefs but manager Gary Rowett hinted that the London club could return for the highly-rated centre-back.

Porteous is free to speak to other clubs from January, with his current Easter Road deal up next summer. Hibs have tabled a new deal, which owner Ron Gordon described as a ‘significant offer’, but the boyhood Hibee has yet to put pen to paper.

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Speaking ahead of the cinch Premiership clash with Ross County, Johnson said he was braced for teams to come sniffing around Porteous, who said last month that he wanted to focus on his football and the situation ‘could potentially be re-evaluated’ during the World Cup break.

“Ryan’s at a good age, he’s playing regularly, and just got his Scotland cap and done extremely well. Interest from other clubs is inevitable. If it’s not, then the scouts aren’t doing their jobs properly,” he said.

“No doubt a lot of these guys will have looked at him. In terms of whether we can compete financially with clubs in the English Championship, I think we probably can, nearly, but a bit beyond that – the budgets of the top-half teams in the Championship – it’s very difficult to cope with that.

"Ryan will have a decision to make, if there’s a decision to make and when there’s a decision to make. At the moment he’s decided not to sign what we’ve put in front of him.

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"We’ve always said that the crunch time will come after the next two games because the focus has to be on the performances and results. He’s chosen at this stage not to sign. It’s not a flat ‘no’, it’s more of a ‘pushing it into the long grass’ type of scenario.”

Porteous will make his 150th Hibs appearance if, as expected, he features against the Staggies. He made his debut during the 2017/18 League Cup as an 18-year-old under Neil Lennon.