Jack Ross squashes Celtic rumour involving Kevin Nisbet and Leigh Griffiths

By David Walton

August 22, 2021

Hibernian manager Jack Ross has squashed the idea that Kevin Nisbet could be on his way to Celtic in a player-plus-cash deal involving Leigh Griffiths.

PLZ Soccer’s Peter Martin reported the news on Twitter yesterday. He stated that Celtic wanted rid of Griffiths this summer with his time at the club up. He reported that he could be on his way to Hibs with Nisbet going in the other direction.

Speculation mounted further when Nisbet wasn’t part of the Hibs squad to face Dundee this afternoon. Griffiths, meanwhile, hasn’t been part of any of our last two matchday squads.

But it appears that no deal is imminent as things stand. Ross was speaking pre-match on Sky Sports Main Event this afternoon [22/08, 11:55], and laughed off the idea that the rumour was a goer:

“I was surprised when I saw it yesterday. Unless people at the club aren’t telling me things, which I wouldn’t imagine is the case, then it’s nonsense really. It just shows how something can be created and people can run with it. So as far as we’re concerned, there’s absolutely no truth in that whatsoever.

“He’s been unwell this week. We knew from a couple of days ago that he wouldn’t be able to play today. It is a blow for us because he’s been in such good form, not just in terms of goals but his overall play has been excellent since the start of the season. So it’s a blow to be without him.”

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Well that couldn’t have been anymore emphatic. If this deal was to come off now, Ross would be made looking extremely foolish. It’s safe to assume nothing is imminent as things stand.

Of course, we can’t fall into the mistake of assuming that Hibs will just snatch at Griffiths and give anything for him. We have to realise that the former Scotland international isn’t the commodity he once was.

In fact, if we’re all being honest with ourselves, there’s no guarantee the striker will find the form of that famous 40-goal season ever again. For one reason or another, he just keeps shooting himself in the foot.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

That’s not to say Griffiths isn’t a good pawn to use. He’s fourth choice at Celtic Park and Ange Postecoglou doesn’t appear all that interested in him. He has an affection with Hibs that’s reciprocated by their supporters. But it has to be added to with substantial funds too.

Hibs won’t allow hearts to rule their heads here. They know Griffiths has it in him to damage anyone in Scottish football. But at the same time they’ll know there’s a renaissance mission that needs to be carried out with him.

They won’t just give away their top star and a couple of million for him. If we’re serious about bagging Nisbet, the main attraction for Hibs will be cold hard cash. Nothing else.

In other news, Report: Celtic hope James McCarthy will be fit for AZ Alkmaar match

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