Ryan Porteous turns down bumper new Hibs deal as Lee Johnson hints at January sale
Ryan Porteous will not be signing a new deal with Hibs and could be moved on in January, according to manager Lee Johnson.
Easter Road chiefs have held talks with the 23-year-old and his representatives over the past few months and are understood to have offered the Scotland defender one of the most lucrative contracts in the club’s history, but Porteous feels the time is right to move onto pastures new.
Speaking after Hibs’ mid-season friendly match with Middlesbrough, which ended in a 2-0 victory for the English Championship side, Johnson said: “The fact is, Ryan ain’t signing a new contract. We’ve offered a fantastic contract, a really big one for the football club and in my eyes a contract that should have been offered two and a half years earlier for a player of that quality. We can’t do any more in terms of what we’ve done, the conversations have been good but he’s good, high profile, and he is a young player on a free."
Johnson will continue to select Porteous for Hibs’ forthcoming matches but floated the idea of moving the centre-back on during the January transfer window so that the club doesn’t lose him for nothing.
"I’ve got no issue with Ryan at all. He turned down the best contract we could offer and is seeking pastures new. I think potentially a January sale would be the best idea if we realise the fee, because at that point you can reinvest the money back into the club. That doesn’t necessarily mean a replacement for Ryan but we do need to put that money back in.”
Porteous has been linked with English Championship clubs in the past and Johnson believes the defender’s profile will be exactly what a number of teams are looking for.
“If I was a Championship manager, and I have been in the past, he is the type of player I would be looking at. I know what wages the clubs pay, and they are high. Add in fact that you have an agent who probably hasn’t had an income source from the likes of Ryan in the past and is seeing an opportunity to help Ryan and get him to where he believes he should be. This is unfortunately the nature of the beast.”