Hibs transfer window: New players wanted, bloated squad, trio could leave - what to expect in January
Hibs made 14 transfers over the summer, including the return of Martin Boyle from Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Faisaly, and as a result are operating with an already large squad and are at capacity in terms of their wage budget. While manager Lee Johnson has made no secret of his desire to bring in more of his own players, given many who are at the club are remnants of previous regimes, he is aware of the current financial situation. Getting players off the books, or a fresh injection of cash from the board to his transfer kitty, will be required to facilitate any incomings this month. If that does happen, central midfield and central defence are the two obvious areas that need fresh blood.
Johnson and the Hibs board know they have too many players on the books. The squad is bloated and a big part of this window will be trying to trim the fat. However, there could be a key departure in defender Ryan Porteous. The Scotland internationalist has told Hibs that he will not be signing a new contract and if he is not sold this month, he will leave for free in June. There have been many notes of interest in the 23-year-old but Hibs have as yet not received a firm bid. Hull and Millwall lead the interest from England but clubs overseas are also weighing up a move. Losing Porteous would harm the team but would allow Johnston to rebuild, with Manchester United loanee Will Fish deemed an adequate replacement for Porteous in the short term. Midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes is in talks with Forest Green Rovers after Hibs accepted a bid for him, although there are other options available to the Irishman. Players such as Demetri Mitchell and Lewis Miller, who have failed to nail down a first-team place, are prime candidates to depart if buyers come calling. Gambian forward Momodou Bojang has had his loan deal cut short and will return to Rainbow FC.