Scott Allan has confirmed he is keen to stay at Hibs beyond the end of his short-term loan agreement.
The midfielder remains contracted to Celtic until summer 2019, but, after being unable to make an impact since moving to Parkhead from Easter Road three years ago, his future appears to lie elsewhere.
Having thrived since returning to Hibs in January after spending the first half of the season at Dundee, Allan is hopeful that a permanent deal can be arranged so he can stay and be a part of a squad that is flourishing under Neil Lennon.
Asked if he would like to stay, the 26-year-old said: “Yes. If we can keep this squad together and everything else goes well it will basically come down to how the Hibs and Celtic hierarchies deal with it, it’s not up to me. But I love it here. In my last month at Dundee I was back fit and starting to tick again. But this came up at the time and I was fortunate to get it done.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hinted recently that Hibs seemed to be the perfect club for Allan, although the player hasn’t spoken with his parent club about what the future may hold. “I haven’t gone that far,” he said. “It is a big month ahead for us and a big four games so I will revisit that at the end of the season.”
Allan has struggled to replicate the scintillating form of both of his spells at Hibs at most of his other clubs. He pinpoints the freedom given to him by both Alan Stubbs and Lennon as a key factor.
“They let creative players play without too much restriction on your game,” he said. “You can see that in all of us now. We are all expressing ourselves and every man is playing to the best of their ability.”
If Allan stays at Hibs, he is hopeful that he will still be joined in midfield by star men Dylan McGeouch and John McGinn. Three years ago, Allan’s Hibs future was in doubt as he became a man in demand following an excellent season in the Championship. He has an understanding, therefore, of the dilemmas facing the highly-regarded pair of McGeouch, who is out of contract this summer, and McGinn, who is out of contract next year and likely to be the subject of interest.
“The situation I was in, I’d only lasted a year and I was away but they have obviously had a really successful time at Hibs,” said Allan. “Dylan has been here four seasons now, John has been here three seasons and they have won the Scottish Cup and done a lot for the club. I think any bids for John would need to be worthwhile for the club and Dylan has a big decision to make.”
Allan hopes to return to the starting line-up against Kilmarnock today after having to sit out last weekend’s rousing 2-1 win over his parent club as Hibs boosted their bid to finish second in the Premiership.
“I was itching to play,” he said. “But I thoroughly enjoyed the game, I thought to a man every player was outstanding. It was a massive three points for us. We’ve played Aberdeen, Rangers and Celtic and we have taken nine points from those games, so I think when it comes down to the nitty gritty we’re as good as the other teams going for second place at the moment.
“This will be a really tricky game. I know Kilmarnock lost last weekend but they are a difficult opponent. We’re just taking every game as it comes, and if we can get another three points it will lay down a marker going into those last three games. Then it will be a toss up, but if we turn up and play the way we can I can see us winning them.”