Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs has told Rangers they are wasting their time pursuing Scott Allan.
Stubbs is adamant Hibs will not sell their prized asset to their Ladbrokes Championship title rivals under any circumstances, although the Ibrox club’s £175,000 offer was never likely to tempt them.
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster revealed the bid for the Championship player of the year was “easy to reject” and unwelcome.
The 23-year-old, a boyhood Gers fan, has one year left on his contract but his help in potentially winning promotion for Hibs could be worth far more money to the Edinburgh club than any offer they are likely to receive from Rangers.
Stubbs said: “We have said over the last six weeks we are prepared to let Scott’s contract run down. That hasn’t changed one bit, regardless of any bid that comes in.
“We are not a club that is going to sell to one of our nearest rivals.”
We have spoken to Scott the last few months and I have obviously spoken to him this morning. He is aware of the situation, he would have been aware of it through his advisers.Alan Stubbs
Both Rangers and Celtic have been linked with interest in Allan over the summer and reports correctly predicted early this week that the Light Blues were set to launch a bid.
And the only surprise to Stubbs was that Rangers did not wait until closer to their Petrofac Training Cup first-round tie on Saturday.
“You don’t want any bids coming in a couple of days before the game but the transfer window is open,” he said.
“It’s there for everybody to use it as they see fit. We don’t welcome the bid, I think the statement says everything we need to say, and we move on.
“I actually thought it would have come on Friday but they’ve surprised me and done it a couple of days earlier.”
Stubbs quickly moved to make sure the offer did not unsettle the former Scotland Under-21 international ahead of the season opener.
“I’m very honest and up-front with the players,” the former Celtic defender said. “We have spoken to Scott the last few months and I have obviously spoken to him this morning. He is aware of the situation, he would have been aware of it through his advisers.
“Our stance is exactly the same, it doesn’t change. We have had a bid, we have flatly rejected it, and that’s it.”
Allan shone at Easter Road last season after a stop-start career so far. He left Dundee United for West Brom after being limited to nine first-team games because of a broken leg and illness, and also amid a dispute with then manager Peter Houston over wage demands.
Allan did not make the Baggies first team, though, and had loan spells with Portsmouth, MK Dons and Birmingham, where he fell out of favour with manager Lee Clark.
The creative midfielder started more games in one season at Hibs than he had in the rest of his career and Stubbs believes he is best staying in Leith for another year.
“Scott is top drawer,” the former Everton captain said. “He can go to the top. And I wouldn’t just say that willy-nilly. He has got fantastic ability. He knows exactly what I think of him.
“Scotty has had a bit of a checkered past and he has come here and we have had a really good relationship. We have worked together and I think I have definitely got the best out of him. So why would you want that to change?
“That’s where we are at. I can answer questions all day long, but the most important one is that we are not going to be selling to one of our nearest rivals.”
Meanwhile, Stubbs dismissed suggestions that the winners of Saturday’s tie could get a psychological edge in the title race.
“It’s our first competitive game, the fact that it’s Rangers obviously takes on extra precedence but I don’t think it will have any bearing on the season whatsoever,” he said. “It will only have a bearing on the cup.”