Hibernian’s Scott Allan caught in Old Firm summer transfer tussle
Celtic and Rangers have held an intensely bitter rivalry throughout their history but, with the two currently separated in different tiers of Scottish football, both Old Firm competitors are now going head-to-head in the transfer market instead.
The subject of the two Glasgow giants’s increasing attempts is Hibernian midfielder Scott Allan, with the 23-year-old former West Bromwich Albion bright prospect, having risen to prominence by previously becoming the Championship player of the year for 2014/15.
Allan’s abilities in the engine room have caused both the Hoops and Gers to battle it out for his signature this summer, but his current employers Hibs are hoping to retain their starlet and are 9/2 with Coral to win the Championship.
Having grown up as a passionate Rangers fan and idolising their former Ibrox hero Paul Gascoigne, Allan’s imminent choice of clubs should be a foregone conclusion, but the youngster is refusing to nail his true Old Firm colours to the mast.
It is reported that Hibs have already rejected as many as three bids from Rangers, before Ronny Deila’s reigning Scottish Premiership champions made enquiries for the young Glaswegian this summer.
The Norwegian Bhoys boss recently declared that he was searching for worldwide players that can take his club to the next level, but refused to confirm or deny talk of a move for Allan despite reports emerging of a bid of their own.
“I can’t comment, he’s not our player,” stated Deila. “Celtic are after good players all the time. We’re looking all over Europe and the world for players who can get us to the next level. Hopefully, we will sign players in this window who will make us better.”
Hibs manager Alan Stubbs was also asked about his promising midfielder’s future at the club, but was reluctant to give anything away.
“It’s irrelevant. He’s here. That’s the latest. I can’t and I won’t comment on speculation – it’s wrong to do,” said ex-Everton and Celtic centre back Stubbs.
“We as a football club don’t do that, so the answer is that Scott’s here and we’re working towards Saturday’s game. When there are things to be announced, we as a football club are always very honest and open.”
As Hibs are set to contest Rangers for the Championship crown, with the latter odds-on 1/4 title favourites, it’s clear why they are unwilling to sell to such a close rival, despite Allan having handed in a transfer request after the second of their three bids.
English Championship side Rotherham have also thrown a spanner in the works during the two Old Firm clubs’ attempts to lure Allan in, enquiring about the sought-after midfield maestro, but have since lowered their interest.
Allan only joined Hibernian on a two-year deal last summer, following his release by the Baggies with Premier League football prehaps coming too soon for the Dundee United academy product, but has rapidly revived his career and risen to Championship prominence in a short space of time.
With Celtic potentially set to secure their return to the Champions League group stages, coupled with Hibs’ reluctance to sell to a league rival, they may have the upper hand in the persistent pursuit of the country’s brightest young talent Allan.