Hibernian manager Jack Ross has admitted that he and the club will not stand in the way of teenage star Josh Doig leaving if the right deal comes along, following the Daily Record linking Sunderland and Stoke City to a potential transfer.
Doig has emerged as a stand-out young talent from the Hibees academy, having broke into the first-team following a brief loan spell last season at Queen’s Park FC.
The 18-year-old has made 16 league appearances this season and has notched two assists (transfermarkt), starring for Ross in either a left-back role or at left wing-back in a 3-5-2.
And his performances have clearly been noted south of the border, with both the Potters and the Black Cats in the market for a left-sided defender this month and have set their sights on Doig.
It doesn’t seem like Hibernian are in the market to sell right now though despite the current financial climate in football, and they’ve already knocked-back interest from Sunderland for their star striker Kevin Nisbet this month – who said he was ‘flattered‘ by the links.
Former Black Cats boss Ross stopped short of putting a not for sale sign around the neck of Doig, but he’s revealed that there has been no concrete offers for any of his in-demand stars that would consider the club to cash-in.
But things can change and if the move is right for all parties, the 44-year-old will have no issues sanctioning it.
“We’ve had young players who have performed well this season and there have been notes of interest from clubs. As it stands there has been nothing as of today that would see any of those young players depart,” Ross told the Edinburgh News.
“But we will see what happens in the days that are left in the window.
“I’m loath to say with certainty that nothing will ever happen because it could change. But not at the moment. They are where they are.
“There’s no duress we are put under to sell players. But there will always be potentially the right time and the right situation for players to move on, if it makes business sense for the club and the player’s development. I’m okay about that.”
Quiz: Who has done more of these 15 things out of Sunderland and Newcastle?
Sunderland are definitely in the market for a left-back before deadline day on February 1, but it looks like they’d have to offer something very substantial to get Doig to leave the Scottish capital.
With the takeover of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus still not completed, Lee Johnson probably doesn’t have the funds right now to make that move anyway, and unless the ownership change gets pushed over the line in the next few days, Hibernian can probably rest easy.
Stoke however will have money to play with and are also looking for left-back competition to battle with Morgan Fox – who is currently sidelined – so their reported interest will have to be watched very closely just five days before the transfer window shuts.