Hibs could be in line for an unexpected windfall if former Easter Road star Sol Bamba completes a surprise move to Turkey this summer.
Trabzonspor are reported to be on the trail of the Ivory Coast defender and are said to be ready to pay £1 million to English Championship outfit Leicester City to secure the 6ft 2in stopper on a three-year deal. After finishing third in the Turkish Super Lig, Trabzonspor are keen to bolster their defence and Bamba, capped 26 times by the West African nation, has been recommended by international team-mate Didier Zokora.
Bamba joined Leicester 18 months ago, signed by Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England boss who had been manager of the Ivory Coast during their World Cup campaign in South Africa the previous summer. Hibs decided to cash in on the star they had signed from Dunfermline for only £75,000 rather than lose him for nothing at the end of his contract, the Paris-born player having previously indicated he had no intention of staying in Edinburgh.
Bamba was an instant hit at his new club, scoring with his first touch in a 2-2 FA Cup draw with Manchester City and quickly attracting the attention of others which resulted in the 27-year-old being handed a contract extension until 2014 by the Foxes.
However, following the arrival of Nigel Pearson as manager, Bamba has struggled to hold down a regular central defensive berth after returning from the African Nations Cup, particularly after the signing of Wes Morgan from Nottingham Forest.
And Pearson has already sealed a deal with Belgium defender Ritchie De Laet, who arrived last week from Manchester United as he seeks to reshape his squad.
Although the fee was undisclosed when Bamba made the switch to England, it was believed Hibs received £250,000 and it is understood a “sell on” clause was agreed at the time with the Easter Road outfit. As such they’d expect a percentage of the difference between what they received and any future fee which, while it won’t be a substantial sum, would be welcome.