Hibs transfers: Reuben McAllister latest as new signing absences for season opener explained

As Lee Johnson heads into his first competitive fixture as Hibs boss, the club are working hard to wrap up the signing of Reuben McAllister from Bristol City.

Reports suggest the switch is all but agreed, with Johnson himself admitting that “it’s probably going to happen”. But, speaking to the media ahead of the Premier Sports Cup group opener against Clyde, the Easter Road gaffer insisted that the expected six-figure deal had not been completed. “It's not definite, it's not done.”

The 16-year-old midfielder, who is the son of Hibs assistant Jamie, has piqued the interest of Celtic, Aston Villa and Newcastle United but his relationship with Johnson, who has closely monitored the kid who broke into Bristol City’s Under-23 side aged just 15, has swayed him towards Leith.

The contract on the table would apparently keep him at Hibs until at least 2025.

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"We believe it's the best pathway for him,” said the Hibs gaffer. “He's a top young player but at the same time we've got a lot of respect for Bristol City - it's a family thing, we're not raiding them for their best players.”

Although McAllister is initially expected to join the development team, the coaching staff believe he can push for a first team slot sooner rather than later.

There have already been a number of summer signings but Johnson could be denied the services of some of them against Clyde as the club continue to fight through red tape and obtain the correct clearance. Lewis Miller may get the okay just in time but others will be forced to sit it out.

"I was looking forward to seeing them all too, and I know they were looking forward to getting out there in front of the fans. But it's a long season and there will be plenty of time for them to get the fans off their seats.

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Hibs manager Lee Johnson, pictured at training yesterday, is closing in on a deal for Bristol City youngster Rueben McAllister, the son of assistant boss Jamie. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

"They're all ready to go, it's literally just [paperwork]. Momodou Bojang - we haven't even met him yet, even though I'm in contact with him every single day.

"It's difficult times in the land of immigration because of the Ukraine situation and there's a big workload for Home Offices all over the world. In Gambia, they're only open twice a week and there must be a lot of applications there.

"You used to be able to fast-track it by paying an extra fee but you can't at the moment with the state the world is in. It's a little bit frustrating but mainly for him.

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"Hopefully Elie [Youan, who signed on loan from St Gallen] will come across next week. If he has to go back and then come back then that's a possibility. It just means we can't play these guys until they have been rubber-stamped.

"We're trying to pull in all sorts of favours at the moment. I think Aberdeen are experiencing something similar. It's not a Hibs thing, it's a world thing.”

With conversations ongoing re further signings, Johnson says he would not be devastated if he had to make do with the squad he already has but warned he would need everyone fit and require them to stay that way throughout the campaign.

With Demi Mitchell, Paul Hanlon, Kyle Magennis and Kevin Nisbet still out, he has promoted Jacob Blaney from the development squad for the Clyde match.

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Meanwhile, Josh Doig is reportedly close to completing a move to Hellas Verona.

The Serie A side has been tracking the 20-year-old for several months and, according to the Edinburgh Evening News, the clubs have agreed a transfer fee for the player, who has made 78 appearances for the Easter Road side.

Hibs will secure a fee of more than £3 million plus add-ons for the Scotland Under-21 internationalist, with a sizeable sell-on fee negotiated, and the deal could be completed next week.

Doig will travel to Italy in the coming days to discuss personal terms with Verona, who finished ninth in last year’s top flight, and won’t be involved against Clyde. He is believed to have said his goodbyes to staff and team-mates on Friday morning.

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