Shaun Maloney on Martin Boyle transfer talks and whether Hibs will make any more January additions

Hibs manager Shaun Maloney has laid to rest any concerns that Martin Boyle is about to throw his toys out of the pram and says he would have no reservations about the Australian international’s mindset ahead of Monday night’s match against Celtic.

Hibs have turned down a £2.5m bid from Saudi Arabian club Al-Faisaly for Martin Boyle.  (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hibs have turned down a £2.5m bid from Saudi Arabian club Al-Faisaly for Martin Boyle. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Reports suggested that the 28-year-old winger was ‘livid’ that the Easter Road club had vetoed a big-money switch by knocking back a £2.5m bid from Saudi Arabian club Al-Faisaly which fell short of the Leith club’s valuation of one of their prize assets.

Hibs have admitted that the personal payout had been enough to pique Boyle’s interest but insist he did not agitate for a move and was not raging.

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“Any conversation I have had with Martin has been the opposite,” said Maloney, who claims he would be happy to close out January with the squad he currently has at his disposal, having brought in some early reinforcements and, so far, managed to keep hold of his major players. “It’s been very calm. The subject might be more important in terms of the interest in him but there has been no anger on either side, really. We speak really openly.

“Martin is going through this, we have discussed it, we have clarity on it. He knows the situation and, at the moment, there isn’t a decision that needs to be made.

“I think we have to be aware that the situation might change. If that happens, you just have to adapt to it but the club have a valuation. And until that valuation is met, we are not at a moment where we have to make a decision.

“At the moment, it is pretty easy: we focus on Celtic on Monday.

“I’ve definitely had a few conversations with him in person over the last few days. I don’t really have any concerns about it unsettling him. As long as he and I have real clarity on where we are, there will be no issues. He was very, very good in training. He really took on board some of the messages we were trying to get across.”

The trip to Celtic Park represents the return to competitive action following the winter break, and the Glasgow side have also been credited with an interest in Boyle. They may have been scared away by the price tag but either way, Maloney says his man is experienced enough in dealing with transfer speculation to be able to put it to the back of his mind when the whistle blows.

“It’s just something that all players now have to deal with. The amount of media and interest that comes now with the windows being open, I think players are pretty experienced now in having to deal with that.

“Martin is the same as everyone else in the squad: available for selection, and then I make that decision [whether to play him] closer to the game.”

And, having completed so many signings early in the window, Maloney says he would be content to tackle the remainder of the season without any more transactions.

“I’m really happy with the squad we have. I have to be grateful that the club, the CEO and the owner, have got that business done as quickly as we have. It has allowed me to work with these players.”

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