Saturday 23 February 2019

Stokes on his way from Hibs

Anthony Stokes could be on his way to Poland. Photo: Getty Images
Anthony Stokes could be on his way to Poland. Photo: Getty Images

Ireland international Anthony Stokes could be on his way to the continent after he was axed from the Hibernian squad by boss Neil Lennon.

Stokes’ side played Hearts in the Scottish Cup yesterday, a disappointing 1-0 loss for Hibs in the Edinburgh derby, but Stokes was not even in the matchday squad.

He was disciplined by the club for breaking curfew during a training camp in Portugal earlier this month and even though Stokes is the side’s leading scorer, with seven goals in the SPL, he could be on his way out as Lennon appears to have lost patience with the former Sunderland and Arsenal man.

Stokes has 18 months left on his contract at Easter Road.

Lennon defended his decision to drop the Dubliner from the squad for yesterday’s derby game.

 “He’s not in the right frame of mind. I have 20 other pros to think about so he is not involved, but if he will be in the future remains to be seen. We will have to wait and see,” Lennon said.

“We’ll have to see, I’m not going to dwell on it too much and rather focus on the players who are going to go out and perform for the club.

“It’s a club issue. We’ve dealt with it formally and I’m going to leave it at that for now.”

Charlton Athletic have been linked with a move for Stokes, the League One side eager to find a striker after his compatriot Leon Best was ruled out for 12 months due to a broken leg suffered earlier this month.

But clubs in Poland are also tracking the 29-year-old. Jagiellonia Bialystok tried to sign Stokes last year, but a deal couldn’t be agreed upon, due to his wage demands, and they ended up signing Cillian Sheridan.

The Cavan native’s goals helped Jagiellonia to a historic second-place finish in the Polish league last season, but Sheridan has struggled to repeat that form this season and has been linked with a move away from the club during the winter break in the Polish season with Stokes a possible replacement.

Jagiellonia are just two points behind league leaders Legia Warsaw and they could seal a deal to bring in Stokes before the league season resumes next month. Stokes was last capped against the USA in 2014.

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