Simon Murray is determined to force his way back into Hibs boss Neil Lennon’s plans next season after ending the season on loan at Dundee.
The striker moved to Dens Park as part of a three-way deal on transfer window deadline day at the end of January which saw Scott Allan move in the opposite direction, while goalkeeper Scott Bain, on loan from the Tayside club, switched from Hibs to Celtic.
The 26-year-old is aware of speculation linking him to a return to his former club Dundee United, while Motherwell have also been credited with an interest as have teams further abroad, Hibs having turned down a six-figure sum from a Turkish side while at their winter training camp in Portugal.
However, Murray revealed his intention has always been to see out the second year of his contract in the Capital.
He said: “I am contracted to Hibs and although I spent the second half of the season on loan at Dundee, my aim has always been to go back there. I still finished the season top scorer for them and even when I went to Dundee in January, the plan was always to go back.
“At the time I spoke to Neil Lennon and he stressed whether or not I went was entirely down to me. I could have stayed and he would have considered me for selection, but really the move came up because Anthony Stokes had left and they needed a No.10
“If I went to Dundee the gaffer said I would be back in the summer. He’s told me I can stake a claim for a place in the team next season and I knew, if he says that, he means it because he’s very honest with me.”
Murray believes his temporary stay at Dundee has been good for him as he’s gained a lot more Premiership experience, but he’s aware that if Hibs, who are hoping to have Swiss striker Flo Kamberi signed on a permanent deal, bring in further frontmen, then he may have to take another look at his future.
He said: “If they sign another striker or decide to go another way I’ll have to think about what happens next, so it is good to know other clubs are interested. If it doesn’t work out, the only person I will blame is myself.”