Hibernian will be sorely tempted to sell winger Martin Boyle if an offer of around £1m is tabled by Stoke City.
So says The Scotsman which reports that Hibs are under financial pressure to reluctantly sell one of their leading assets.
Reports from north of the border have previously claimed Stoke are lining up a £1m bid for the 27 year-old Scot.
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Now The Scotsman is saying: “Boyle has 12 months remaining on his contract and while Jack Ross may be keen to hold onto one of his star men, any firm offers are likely to test Hibs’ resolve with the club looking to make urgent savings due to the “substantial and unsustainable strain” on finances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as outlined in chairman Ron Gordon’s stark warning message last week.
“The players have been asked to take wage cuts on top of the deferrals that were agreed following the shutdown, while redundancies are also a possibility, with the positions of a number of non-playing staff, including first team coach Grant Murray, reported to be under threat.
“A sizable transfer fee could help offset some of the cutbacks, while Hibs will also be keen to avoid losing one of their prized assets for nothing next summer with the 27-year-old free to speak to other clubs over a pre-contract agreement come January.”
Boyle himself has spoken relatively freely about the prospect of a lucrative move south.
“I’ve seen players at Hibs flourish over the years and didn’t see why that couldn’t be me,” he said.
“I saw boys move on to bigger and better things, the likes of John McGinn, and it just shows you what can be done if you keep your head down and continue to work hard.”
Stoke manager Michael O’Neill has spoken about his admiration for the Scottish market and those words have helped encourage speculation linking him to around a dozen players north of the border.