Hibernian: 'One or two' top players may be sold in summer - Ron Gordon

By David CurrieBBC Scotland
Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet
Hibs rejected an offer for striker Kevin Nisbet from Birmingham City in January

Hibernian may sell "one or two" of their prize assets over the summer, admits owner Ron Gordon.

But the American businessman insists any transfers will not "short change" the club's ability to compete at the top end of the Scottish Premiership.

January bids for Ryan Porteous and Kevin Nisbet were rejected, while teenage full-back Josh Doig has been linked with several English sides.

"We have a mission to be as competitive as we can," said Gordon.

Speaking before the club's annual general meeting, he added: "I think that maybe one, maybe two could have the opportunity to move this summer.

"I don't think we should undervalue our players, I won't consider us just as a selling club."

Doig, 18, has enjoyed a fabulous breakthrough season, with Leicester City the latest team reported to be interested.external-link

"He has been terrific, he's got some great attributes as a player, great speed, a terrific shot," said Gordon. "He has grown and matured. Every game he's got a little better, he's more confident and more comfortable.

"I'm excited that Brendan Rodgers is interested in him. Josh is a great player but we don't want to undersell our assets. We need to find the right balance between what's good for the club and for him.

"For a kid like Josh the idea of playing for a club like Leicester City is something we want to encourage."

Josh Doig has enjoyed an excellent breakthrough season at Easter Road
Teenager Josh Doig has enjoyed an excellent breakthrough season at Easter Road

Birmingham City wanted striker Nisbet, 24 - who only signed for Hibs in the summer - while Millwall were keen on centre-half Porteous, 22. But Gordon says turning down January offers was the right thing to do.

"It was a question of timing and valuation," he explained. "They were not easy decisions. Both of them want to grow and I am 100% sure they will have other opportunities. I think they both agreed.

"Kevin has come back and really contributed beautifully. The fact he's won his first cap is fantastic and is another feather in our cap. I think he will continue to do well and he is in a better place to move on when the time is right."

With five league matches remaining, Hibs have a seven-point lead in the race to finish third, something last achieved in 2005.

And Gordon is targeting "consistent" European football for the club he bought control of in July 2019.

He also revealed that the process of replacing former chief executive Leeann Dempster was in the "final stages", with an appointment expected in the next "30-40 days".

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