Before the transfer window deadline slams shut, Scottish side Hibernian FC are in the market for both a centre-back and striker, according to Sporting Director Graeme Mathie. However, Mathie also admits that these are the positions that almost every club seems to need, so any potential deal would be difficult.
Mathie also speaks of the reasons he and his recruitment staff chose to sign American forward Chris Mueller on a pre-contract deal, and the disrespectful bids for left-back Josh Doig, among many other things.
What did Mathie say about potential new signings?
Mathie tells VAVEL, "We’re looking at two positions right now, a centre-back and a striker. We have a couple of names in the file, and we’ll give it our best go to look for them, however, these are the two positions that everyone seems to be after, so it will be difficult to find a good deal.”
Why did Hibernian sign Chris Mueller?
The recruitment honcho believes that new signing Mueller was physically and mentally suited to Hibernian and Scottish football: “There are a few things about Chris that caught our eye. He’s very direct with the ball, he’s quick and athletic, and he works hard off the ball.
"[These] attributes are really important to success in Scottish football, first and foremost, and then, also, he’s got a great eye for goal, he’s at a good age, and he seems really dedicated - we think he will go on to do really well.”
Any bids for Josh Doig?
Regarding sought after 19-year-old left-back Josh Doig, Mathie adds: “Lots of things need to align so that he can leave. We’ve had lots of conversations with other teams regarding Josh and I genuinely feel that he is really undervalued by other clubs and that annoys me.
"If Josh Doig performs how he performed last season in English League One and got to a national final, teams would be willing to spend far more money on him, rather than if he was in Scotland. We finished third in the league, we’re in Europe, we got to a cup final, and these bids are really disrespectful.
"All people need to do is to walk into our sports science department and ask these people about Josh’s athletic potential, and their eyes light up. They will say that this kid is genuinely an elite level athlete, he has the potential to be right at the top level. So that tells me with his technical ability, athleticism, his desire, his attitude, we’ve got an amazing prospect on our hands here.
"I would love it if a club were to come to me and say that ‘we think we can turn this boy into a £50M player, here’s how we're going to develop him, we’ll give you x if he achieves this, and we’ll give you y if he does that, and within a certain number of years, we think he would be at the top level of the game’. That makes a conversation far easier, as it becomes less of a transaction and more of a relationship," he says.
"But right now, we feel some clubs have been quite patronising and more transactional, and it is hard. And for the boy himself, obviously, he wants to go to a bigger club like every other young player, but he is also happy here.
"We want to be in a position to say, ‘thanks for trusting us with your development and we can’t wait to see you shine at the next level’, but no clubs are making that easy for us. The worst thing I could do is sell Josh to a club that then only plays him in the under-23s!”