Leigh Griffiths to Hibs latest as Jack Ross discusses transfer link with Celtic striker

Hibs head coach Jack Ross has insisted that there have been no internal discussions about Leigh Griffiths – but all that could change if the Celtic striker becomes available in the summer.

Leigh Griffiths with Hibs captain David Gray during a pre-season meeting at Parkhead
Leigh Griffiths with Hibs captain David Gray during a pre-season meeting at Parkhead

The 30-year-old hasn’t started a league game for the Hoops since January and has been tipped to depart the club in the summer.

Both Hibs and Aberdeen have been linked with a move for Griffiths, who is under contract until 2022 but understood to have a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave for free, and with a major shake-up likely at Parkhead this summer the boyhood Hibee, who scored 39 goals in 78 games across two loan spells at Easter Road in the early 2010s, could well be on the move.

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Ross wasn't giving anything away as he previewed his side’s Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against Stranraer at Stair Park on Sunday but didn’t rule out an approach in the summer if the situation was right.

"First of all, he’s not a player who as of yet will be available. He’s still contracted to Celtic and there’s nothing to say he won’t be, as things stand,” Ross commented.

“It is an easy connection to make because of his association with the club and his time at Hibs before but I would temper that by saying, is he a player we have admiration for? Of course, because his goalscoring record is up there with the best in Scotland over recent years.

“It may be something that should the opportunity arise, it would be something we’d discuss.

“But it’s not something we have been able to discuss in any detail because he’s not a player, as of yet, who will be available.”

Hibs have plans to recruit a striker and a left-winger in the summer to supplement an already-strong squad, and Ross revealed that planning had already started in earnest.

He added: “There are players we know will be available, not just in Scotland but across the UK and Europe.

“And there are players who may yet become available, so should those ‘maybes’ become ‘definitives’ then we’d have proper conversations about it.

“But certainly right now, it’s nothing we have discussed in any more detail.”

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