Hibs are set to resist any bid by former boss Tony Mowbray to bring Middlesbrough star Jonathan Grounds loan spell at Easter Road to a premature end.
• Jonathan Grounds
The left back agreed a temporary move to Edinburgh until January but Mowbray, newly installed as the new manager of the Riverside club, is anxious, as he bids to lift 'Boro out of the English Championship relegation zone, to run the rule over all the players potentially at his disposal.
To that end he is keen to engineer the return of four players currently out on loan including Grounds. He said: "In an ideal world, the loan players would come back so I can assess and see where they go as players.
"I want to give everyone a chance, everyone needs to know they will have an opportunity."
Grounds agreed his switch to Scotland while Gordon Strachan was manager of Middlesbrough and John Hughes was in charge of Hibs, but while the 22-year-old remained on the bench during Colin Calderwood's first match in charge at Pittodrie, the new Easter Road boss is understood to be keen to retain his services over the agreed period.
While Ian Murray is back in full training following a hip/groin
problem which has put him out of action since late August, he has yet to return to first-team action, leaving Calderwood a little short of cover in that area.
And it will be Calderwood who will have the final say as to Grounds' place of employment over the next couple of months with Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb admitting Hibs would have to agree to any request for the player to return to Teesside early.
Meanwhile, Hibs look set to travel to Tannadice to face Dundee United tomorrow without striker Colin Nish who twisted an ankle as he landed awkwardly after heading home his first goal of the season against Aberdeen.