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Thursday 8 December 2016

Hibs make loan move for stokes

Out-of-favour Celtic striker Anthony Stokes: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire....S
Out-of-favour Celtic striker Anthony Stokes: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire....S

Hibernian have contacted Celtic with a view to bringing Ireland striker Anthony Stokes on loan to Easter Road for the remainder of the season.

The 27-year-old, who played at Hibs between 2009 and 2010, is out of favour at Celtic Park, with Hoops boss Ronny Deila making the Republic of Ireland international available for a temporary move away from Glasgow.

Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs is keen to bring the former Arsenal, Sunderland and Falkirk player Edinburgh to help bolster their Ladbrokes Championship title charge and have opened talks with the Celtic board about a move.

Hibs also face competition from Inverness and Dundee United for his signature, but it is believed Hibs would be Stokes' destination of choice.

Stokes hasn't played a competitive match since Celtic's 3-1 over Dundee United on August 22, but there is little doubt the Irishman would strengthen a Hibs attack that already boasts eight strikers in the squad.

Hibs would want to team Stokes up with top-scorer Jason Cummings, who has scored 16 goals this season so far. Alan Stubbs has revealed that there have been no offers for the 20-year-old during this transfer window and that none would be entertained by the Easter Road hierarchy. "We think he will go on loan," Deila said ahead of Friday night's trip to Ladbrokes Premiership basement boys Dundee United.

OPTIONS

"He has some options but together with Stokesy we haven't decided what is the right one yet. A lot of clubs have been in contact who want to have Stokesy on their team.

"We will see what Anthony wants and what is best for the club. He is happy to go out on loan. He wants to get some games under his belt.

"It's important for everybody he finds himself, gets some good performances and can then perform for Celtic again.

"Does he still have a Celtic future? Yeah, everybody has that.

"He has a contract with the club and Stokesy knows the things he has to take care of.

"Hopefully he will get a good run of games, score some goals and get back in good confidence and the best shape he can be in."

But the Norwegian shot down reports linking playmaker Tom Rogic with a move to Leeds , insisting he wants to tie the Australian down to a long-term deal.

"I haven't heard so much about that," Deila said. "But what I do know is that we want to re-sign Tom and have him here for the future. He's made a lot of progress and we see a lot of potential in him.

"He can do much better because he has only played for six months after being out for a year before that.

"He needs time so he's going to stay here with Celtic."

Celtic have yet to act since the January transfer window opened, but Deila has been encouraged by the Hoops' manoeuvrings so far and says things "seem positive".

However, the Parkhead boss refused to speculate on reports linking him with a loan move for Manchester City forward Bersant Celina.

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