Hibs head coach Neil Lennon admits he faces competition for Tom Hateley’s signature



Hibs head coach Neil Lennon admits he faces competition to sign Tom Hateley after holding talks with the out of contract midfielder.

Former Motherwell player Hateley, who can also operate at right-back, is available under freedom of contract following a spell with Polish side Slask Wroclaw – but Dundee, Bradford City and AFC Wimbledon are also said to be interested in the 26-year-old.

Lennon has already recruited goalkeepers Ofir Marciano and Ross Laidlaw, and forwards Grant Holt, Andrew Shinnie and Brian Graham but is keen to bolster his options.

18/08/2016 THE ORIAM - EDINBURGH The opening of the new improved Oriam Neil Lennon (left) is shown around the facilities
Lennon (left) getting shown around the new Oriam National Performance Centre

Lennon, whose side will bid to continue their flawless start to the Championship with victory over Morton tomorrow, said: “We spoke with Tom and his father (former Rangers striker) Mark and we had a good chat.

“We knew there were other clubs interested and it is his prerogative to keep his options open.

“He is one we have shown an interest in. That’s maybe it.

“There is maybe one position that we still need to fill to give us more depth but I am pretty happy with the strength of squad we have at the minute.

“If we didn’t make any more signings I would be happy with what we’ve got. I looked at the bench last week and it was a lot stronger than it had been.

“It had been a bit thin but with Andy and Brian in it has really given us a jag that maybe the squad needed.

“It refreshes everything, adds to the competition and lifts the players and everyone associated with the club. You could see that in the way we beat St Mirren at the weekend.”

Lennon is adamant that the club will not be pressured into letting players leave in the opposite direction as he braces himself for further bids before next Wednesday’s transfer window closes.

Prolific striker Jason Cummings has already been the subject of failed £1.7 million offer from Peterborough.

Lennon added: “Will we get anymore bids? Probably, but the answer will be the same. It will be no.

“We’re very secure in where we are.

“In terms of Jason, we worked really hard in the summer to get him on a long-term contract with the premise of, ‘be here, lets try and get promotion and we’ll take it from there’.

“Nothing has changed in that other than a sizeable bid came in but we’re comfortable enough that it got turned down.

“Whether it be for him, John McGinn, Paul Hanlon, anyone else who is taking the eye; I want to keep this squad together.

“Things may change over the course of the season but going into September, I’ll pretty confident we’ll have the players in place here.”