By DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs admits he would rather lose Scott Allan for nothing next summer than sell the talented midfielder during the current transfer window.
Last season’s Championship Player of the Year has been linked with both Celtic and second tier rivals Rangers, and was the subject of failed bids from Dundee United in January.
But Stubbs wants the 23-year-old, who made 42 appearances last season, to lead the Leith outfit’s charge for the Championship title in the forthcoming campaign, even if it means missing out on much-needed transfer cash.
On the day Liam Fontaine signed a new two-year deal at Easter Road, Stubbs revealed that the club are comfortable with Allan’s reluctance to commit to fresh terms.
He said: “I’ve heard about the speculation and I’m delighted at that because without it, then it mean we don’t have good players.
“Let’s see what happens from now until the beginning of the season. If someone wants to come in and bid £3 million for Scott then it’s not a problem.
“We’ve been in negotiations and would like him to sign a new contract but I respect his position as well.
“He knows what we want him to do but there is a mutual respect there.
“If Scott decides to let his contract run down, we’re respectful of that. If that’s the case, we’re prepared to let that contract run out for the next year. We would like him to sign a new deal because he is integral and a very important player for us.”
Allan has recaptured the form that saw him leave United for an ill-fated two-year spell at West Brom and Stubbs hopes the environment he has created at Easter Road will persuade the Scotland Under-21 cap to see out his deal.
He added: “I understand the size of Celtic and Rangers but Scott has flourished in this group of players and there has been a really good chemistry between the both of us.
“He’s got himself back on the right track and I don’t see any reason why he should change. He’s a very talented player, he’s allowed to get away with one or two things because of the type of player he is and the players respect him.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him for the start of pre-season and having a laugh and a joke. I don’t see any reason why Scott Allan won’t be here for the first game of the season.”
Regardless of Allan’s future, Stubbs is looking to bolster his midfield options following the departures of Liam Craig and Scott Robinson.
St Mirren midfielder John McGinn has been linked with a switch to Leith.
Stubbs added: “He’s a good player but he’s not my player and I would rather not talk about him because we’re going to get linked with a lot of players.”
One player that is unlikely to return to Hibs, however, is Dylan McGeouch after Stubbs revealed that Celtic prolonged the 22-year-old midfielder’s contract in the wake of his successful loan spell in Edinburgh.
Stubbs, who is confident of adding at least one new goalkeeper in the next 48 hours, added: “It’s common knowledge what I think of Dylan, he’s a really good player but he’s Celtic’s player at this moment in time.
“Celtic have taken his option up of another year and I can see why. There is not much more I can say to that. If there was an opportunity I could bring him here, I would like to do that.”