Hibernian left-back Josh Doig is to be rewarded with a new contract after being linked with Celtic, according to the Edinburgh Evening News.
The newspaper reports that talks between Doig and the club are progressing well. With 23 appearances to his name this season, his consistency has attracted speculation linking him with the likes of Celtic, Chelsea, and Arsenal respectively [Sky Sports].
The player’s existing contract currently runs until the summer of 2023. That leaves him with only two years remaining on his deal come the end of the season. However, Hibernian are clearly looking to wrap him up for the long-term.
Celtic will be in the market for a new left-back this summer when Diego Laxalt heads back to AC Milan. Even if Boli Bolingoli is set to return from a loan spell in Istanbul, his long-term future here looks doubtful.
Should Doig sign a new deal in Leith, it will make negotiations that little bit more difficult. Hibs have proven to be difficult to deal with in the past for Celtic after the Steven Fletcher and John McGinn sagas. Signing up Doig would allow them the opportunity to be as stubborn as they wish.
Josh Doig has a big 12 months ahead of him; a move to Celtic may be too early
Doig has a huge year in front of him when it comes to his decision-making. A Hibs academy graduate, he may see himself playing at Easter Road for the longer-time before attempting to dip his toes in a bigger pond.
But Doig has tremendous versatility that’s clearly attractive to the Scottish champions. We’re talking about a player who can play left-back, left wing-back, or even centre-back. He’s comfortable in a variety of positions – something that will always go down well at Parkhead.
It will be interesting to see just how keen Celtic are on him in any case. Remember, the Hoops could always loan him back out to the Edinburgh side for another year to further his development. If Doig signs, there would be a recognition that he isn’t going straight into our first-team.
That’s the only aspect that may put the player off at the moment. He may feel more secure at a Hibs where he knows he’ll be playing regularly for as long as he wants. Moving to Arsenal or Chelsea would be even more dangerous in that regard.
So we’ll see how these contract talks go. Generally, if they’re signed, it’s a statement of intent from Doig that he’s happy where he is. And for Celtic, it would undoubtedly make for tougher negotiations with the Edinburgh club come the summer.