Hibs transfer news: Nick Montgomery reveals his signing wishlist but will have to work with tight budget

Hibs boss working with depleted numbers and knows reinforcements are needed

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery has revealed he is looking to make four new signings this month – but says he will not be allowed to spend big on the basis of the anticipated Bill Foley investment.

The club remain in talks with the Scottish Football Association as they seek approval for the US billionaire to assume a minority stake in the capital outfit, but it is unlikely that a deal will be completed in time to affect the current transfer window. The owner of Premier League side Bournemouth expected to make an initial £6million contribution but the majority of that will be ploughed into the stadium infrastructure as well as planned improvements at the club’s East Mains training centre, although some could be directed towards recruitment. That will only happen when the necessary approval has been obtained and the paperwork has all been completed, though, according to the Hibs boss.

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“It’s been well-documented but not confirmed yet,” said Montgomery. “There’s regulations to go through with the SFA, but until that’s guaranteed money … the club has been very clear on where that investment will go, it will go to improving the training ground and the stadium, and potentially some will go into the budget. Until that’s a guarantee, we’re working with what we’ve got, and that’s all we can do.”

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery would like to bring in four players during the January transfer window.Hibs manager Nick Montgomery would like to bring in four players during the January transfer window.
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery would like to bring in four players during the January transfer window.

Despite the budgetary constraints, Montgomery is looking for reinforcements. He will be without four first-team squad players due to international commitments when his men face Motherwell in their final match ahead of the winter shutdown on Tuesday, with Martin Boyle and Lewis Miller part of the Australia squad for the Asian Cup, and Rocky Bushiri and back-up keeper Jojo Wollacott called up by DR Congo and Ghana respectively for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Depending on how far the respective countries progress in each tournament, Montgomery could also be without that contingent for up to five games after competitive action resumes, starting with the Scottish Cup tie on January 20 against Forfar Athletic. The squad is already depleted due to injuries, with Josh Campbell the latest to be sidelined. He is expected to be out for over a month with an ankle injury sustained in last week’s derby defeat.

“You only have to look at the squad,” continued Montgomery. “Anyone looking at the contrast between our squad and Hearts at the moment, you can see that they have a much bigger budget than we have. And that means you can bring in more players to create strength in depth. With Josh Campbell going out, the magic number [of new signings] would be four. If we can get two, or one, that’s what we’ll work towards.

“We can only stretch the budget available so far, so that’s why we have to be clinical in our recruitment. We have got a couple of targets but it’s not easy to get quality players in, and to have clubs willing to let them come in for the budget we have available. We’re working really hard, and maybe one or two will go out to help fund that. It’s an ongoing situation but it’s the same at every club this time of year. If any players move on, there can be a knock on effect in freeing up the budget to bring another player in. But, it’s really hard to say.”