Hibs transfer news: Defender priority, Will Fish situation, no war chest - what could happen in January window

There is one area of pitch Montgomery really needs to strengthen this month

With an ever-increasing injury list and players away at the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, Hibs will look to do some transfer business in the January window.

However, manager Nick Montgomery does not have a sizeable budget to spend. There has been much talk about potential investment from American billionaire Bill Foley and while that is still on track, any share purchase will take place after the window, requiring a final rubber stamp from the Scottish Football Association and then at the Hibs annual general meeting, which has not yet been called. The club are not going to spend cash not yet in the building.

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The sale of Elias Melkersen for a seven-figure fee to Stromsgodset last month will help give Montgomery some resource to use but with that fee largely coming in instalments, Hibs will have to box clever with their recruitment. They have aspirations of finishing third in the Premiership but with forward Martin Boyle and defenders Lewis Miller and Rocky Bushiri away on international duty and Josh Campbell sidelined for at least a month with an ankle injury, immediate reinforcements are required. Montgomery will be able to call upon long-term injury victims Chris Cadden, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Harry McKirdy soon – plus Adam Le Fondre – but his squad is stretched to the limit right now.

Rocky Bushiri and Will Fish have been Hibs' main central defensive pairing.Rocky Bushiri and Will Fish have been Hibs' main central defensive pairing.
Rocky Bushiri and Will Fish have been Hibs' main central defensive pairing.

Central defence seems the most obvious place to strengthen given Hibs only have three centre-halves in their squad. Bushiri and Paul Hanlon have partnered Will Fish at the back, but neither have been hugely impressive. Manchester United have the option to recall Fish from his season-long loan this month, too, so Hibs desperately need options in that area. Central midfield alternatives to Joe Newell, Dylan Levitt and Jimmy Jeggo appear fairly light too, although that will improve once Doyle-Hayes and Campbell return from injury.

This will be Montgomery’s first transfer window at Hibs. The only player the club has been linked with is Musa Toure, a young forward at Adelaide United, and it would be no surprise if Montgomery was to look at the A-League for signings given his knowledge of the league. The manager will work in tandem with director of football Brian McDermott on recruitment.

In terms of outgoings, given Hibs’ injury situation, it is hard to envisage many – if any – players leaving Easter Road until the summer months, when a rump of experienced pros see their contracts expire.

January signing priority: Hibs really need another central defender – possibly even two.

Please don’t make a bid: Most of their players are very settled. Man Utd activating Will Fish’s loan recall would be a savage blow.

Players out of contract in the summer: David Marshall, Paul Hanlon, Lewis Stevenson, Will Fish (end of loan), Jimmy Jeggo, Adam Le Fondre, Christian Doidge.

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