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Nisbet and Porteous in Jack Ross’ plans despite bids

The Hibernian boss doesn't expect to lose his key players "in the next 24 hours".

Nisbet and Porteous in Jack Ross’ plans despite bids SNS Group

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross expects Kevin Nisbet and Ryan Porteous to face Dundee United on Saturday despite transfer bids from England for both players.

Millwall have made a move to sign defender Porteous while Kevin Nisbet has attracted the attention of Birmingham City.

Ross acknowledged that talks had taken place over both bids but was happy that owner Ron Gordon hadn’t accepted the offers.

However, the head coach was cautious to say there was no certainty neither would leave before Monday’s transfer deadline.

“The club has had some stronger interest in players over the last couple of days,” he said. “It’s accelerated a little bit.

“But as we are, both trained with us today and are in the squad for tomorrow. I don’t see that changing over the next 24 hours – but I can’t say that for certain.

“They are also in my plans for St Mirren on Tuesday but I’m sensible enough to know that could change very quickly.”

The values attached top both players are significant and Ross said that he understood that the immediate wish to have the strongest squad available for the rest of the season may have to be balanced against the potential to develop the club over time.

He said: “Selfishly as a manager you want to keep your best players, particularly when we have so much to play for in the remaining games but equally, I’m broad-minded enough to accept we have to continue to progress the club in the most effective manner from an economic point of view.

“The only thing that accentuates the want to keep them is the timing aspect of it. Ask any manager, if you’re going to lose important players you’d rather do it earlier in the window than later.

“As the window obviously closes over the weekend it makes it a little more challenging.”

While hoping not to lose either player, he also admitted he wasn’t planning any further business before the window closes.

He said: “There’s nothing imminent and we’re conscious that time is marching on. We have explored strengthening an area but there hasn’t been the right player to do that.

“However, we have tried to come up with a plan should we lose any of our players and we have that in place. But it is more likely we won’t do anything than we will.

“However, if there comes a time in the near future where we do bring in funds then I’m sure the club would be supportive of us re-investing some of that.”