Hibernian manager Jack Ross has suggested that he is expecting Kevin Nisbet to still be at the club alongside Ryan Porteous when the transfer window closes amid strong interest from Birmingham City and Millwall respectively.
Birmingham have been moving to try and bolster their attacking options before Monday’s deadline and the Blues are thought to be close to securing the signing of Aberdeen forward Sam Cosgrove. However, Aitor Karanka’s side have also been targeting Nisbet from Hibs and have seen an offer of around £2 million turned down by the Scottish Premier League side, per Daily Record.
The Blues though are thought to be ready to come back in with an improved offer for the 23-year-old to try and get the signing over the line. Speaking to the media after his sides’ 1-1 draw against Coventry City on Saturday, Karanka confirmed the club are interested in the forward and that he hopes he can bring in another player alongside Cosgrove.
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Ross was also understandably questioned over the prospect of losing both Nisbet and Porteous to Birmingham and Millwall, with both players having been left out of the side for their win against Dundee United. The former Sunderland manager revealed that he thinks both will remain at the club, although he admitted that things can change swiftly.
He said: “I would expect them to be with me on Monday. That’s where I think it’s at.
“As I said, things can change very quickly.
“They are sensible valuations and respectful.
“The club has its valuation and is conscious of where we’re trying to get to this season and how that affects it, particularly so late on in a window.
“You try and have your back up plan ready but obviously the longer the window goes the chances of that being implemented become slimmer as well.”
These comments could be a potential blow to the Blues’ hopes of securing a late deal for Nisbet, with the forward valued highly by Hibs and viewed as an integral part of their plans for the rest of the campaign. However, there will be some hope that a sale of the 23-year-old was not completely ruled out.
Birmingham are going to need to come back in with an increased offer from their original £2 million, and Ross did suggest that there is a valuation that the club have placed on the forward. That potentially indicates that the Blues know what they need to do to if they are to secure his signature and it is now down to whether they are willing to pay it.
Karanka will be hoping that the Blues go ahead and match Nisbet’s valuation and his arrival would be a boost for them as he would arrive in good form having scored 11 goals in 23 league appearances so far this campaign (Sofascore). This is one that could potentially go down to the wire.