BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Alan Stubbs insists it will take ‘serious’ money to convince Hibernian to break up the squad he hopes can win promotion back to the Premiership this season.
The Easter Road outfit are bracing themselves for possible bids for top scorer Jason Cummings, who has attracted interest from the likes of Bournemouth, Brighton, Fulham, Rotherham and Leeds United in recent weeks following a prolific start to the campaign.
Even though he has just joined the club, the form of midfield John McGinn will also not have gone unnoticed elsewhere, whilst others such as skipper David Gray, midfielder Fraser Fyvie and striker James Keatings could attract admiring glances when the January transfer window opens.
However, although he noticeably stopped short of issuing a ‘hands off’ warning to potential suitors, Stubbs is fully aware of the pitfalls of upsetting the balance of his squad as they chase Rangers for the title – unless an offer is too good to turn down.
He said: “The speculation doesn’t bother me, that’s football. I’m not afraid to speak about clubs being interested in my players.
“But the most important thing is that I must stress is our mindset right now is that no-one will be leaving.
“We know football can change very quickly and if someone is interested it’s going to have to be something really serious for us to even consider anything in January.
“And when I say serious, I mean serious.
“Every player has a value. Whichever division you’re in, whether that’s England or Scotland or Wales or in Europe, ever player has a value, and if someone meets that value then you have a decision to make.
“But, as I’ve said all along, the decision, as it was earlier on in the season when we made our stance (with Scott Allan), will be in the best interests of Hibernian Football Club.
“If, and when, that comes, we’ll speak about it and we’ll speak about it with the player as well. We keep them informed about everything that’s going on – and then we’ll make a decision one way or another.”
Rather than players leaving, Stubbs has revealed he is hopeful of adding to his squad next month.
With title favourites Rangers and third-placed Falkirk both declaring in recent days they intend to bring in fresh faces in the New Year, Stubbs has confessed he is no different and is confident of being given the green light to make signings.
He added: “I hope we can make some signings in January. If the right players become available in January then we will certainly be in a position to strengthen.
“It’s not going to be a lot of players. It may be none, it may be one or two. I can’t see it being many more because I’m really happy with the squad.
“It’s only a couple of positions that we may look at, but I must stress it’s only if the right players become available.
“I’ve got lots of players in mind but getting hold of them is another dilemma, and them becoming available is another dilemma.
“But we’ll see. January will take care of itself one way or another.”
Meanwhile, Stubbs is confident the week-long rest he gave his players due to their inactivity last weekend will not have interrupted their momentum ahead of tomorrow’s trip to face Morton at Cappielow.
The Easter Road outfit have won 14 and drawn one of their last 15 matches and are desperate to prolong their winning run to keep up the pressure on Rangers, who are now three points above.
Stubbs continued: “After having a break,i t’s great we’ve got a tough game coming back after a tough game, because it’s very easy to refocus again.
“Yes, they’ve had a bit of time off, which is great for them, to relax and recover and get a few bodies back into the group again.
“But we’re back to business again on Saturday.”