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Hibs braced for loss of at least one key player this summer, says owner

St Johnstone v Hibernian – Betfred Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Hibernian owner Ron Gordon admits one of Jack Ross’ key players could be sold this summer.

Birmingham reportedly had several bids for highly-rated striker Kevin Nesbit turned down in January and defender Ryan Porteous was the subject of interest from Millwall, while this week 18-year-old defender Josh Doig was reported to be on the radar of Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester.

Gordon, speaking on a Zoom call ahead of the club’s AGM on Wednesday, was asked if he realistically expected at least one of Nesbit or Porteous to leave the Leith club in the summer.

He said: “That could be a possibility to be honest. It wouldn’t surprise me.

“We are thinking about those possibilities and planning accordingly.

“I don’t anticipate more than one, perhaps at the outside two, but I think one could have the opportunity to move this summer.”

On the January interest in Nisbet and Porteous, Gordon added: “It was a question of timing and valuation and where the club was.

“We need to make these decisions, they are not easy, both want to grow and compete at the highest level and they will have opportunities, I am 100 per cent sure of that.

“The timing wasn’t right and I think they both agreed to that.

“We are trying to find the right balance between being competitive and if the right opportunity presents itself to move some of our players on to a higher level of football.

“But the timing has to be right and it has to be the right move.

“But I wouldn’t consider us just as a selling club, we have a mission to be as competitive as we can possibly be.”

Gordon insisted there was no chance a player left-back Doig would leave Easter Road on the cheap.

He said: “I don’t think we should undersell our players.

“Josh is a great player and clubs should be willing to pay. We have to find the right balance between what’s good for Josh and good for the club.

“He has been terrific, I love his energy, he has some great attributes as a player.

“Terrific speed, a great shot, he has grown and matured this year. I am excited that Brendan Rodgers is interested in him.

“Obviously we have to balance the idea of having a competitive team with not getting in the way of progress.

“For a kid like Josh, the ability to play in a Leicester City is something we need to be behind and encourage. It is only his first year, let’s see what happens.”

Gordon revealed the Leith club were “in the final stages” of their search for a new chief executive after Leeann Dempster left to take up the role at Queen’s Park in January.

He said: “I would think sometimes in the next 30 days we should be able to make an appointment.”

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