Reported 2020 Celtic target Martin Boyle has been reacting to the contract speculation surrounding his Hibernian deal.
The Scottish Sun reported last night that clubs can snap Boyle up for £500k this summer. This is said to be down to a clause put into the contract by the Australian international’s agents. Boyle signed a new contract at Easter Road at the start of the season, but this new reveal only allows question marks over his future to pop up again.
This could be of interest to Celtic. The Hoops reportedly scouted Boyle back in January 2020 in a match between Hibs and Hamilton [Scottish Sun]. At the time, however, Hibs were apparently wanting as much as £3m [Scottish Sun].
Boyle has been speaking about the recent speculation today, and he certainly didn’t move to dismiss it. The winger was keen to big up his commitment to Hibs, but failed to deny the reports.
As quoted by Edinburgh Live, Boyle said: “I am happy here, that’s why I signed the deal six months ago. I still have two years left so nothing changes. It is speculation, it is always nice to see, that means I am doing something right, doing my bit on the park and obviously if you do well there will be speculation coming along. I am sure other people in the team have had it this season.
“My full focus is on this Saturday. I have trips away with Australia in the summer, I will be coming back to pre-season with Hibs and hopefully preparing for a little European adventure.
“I won’t get much break myself but nothing changes. My full concentration is on Hibs as it should be because I think me speaking about moving away would be a bit disrespectful to the club considering I am under contract.”
Martin Boyle refuses to deny contract clause
Boyle doesn’t sound convincing here. He clearly wants to leave the speculation for now and focus on Saturday’s Scottish Cup final, which is fair enough. He’s quite right to try and put a dampener on reports.
But what he fails to do is refute them. If the idea that his contract didn’t have a £500k clause in it, surely the winger would’ve been quick to squash it? After all, he wouldn’t want any lies surrounding his deal to be floating around the media.
He does attempt to reaffirm his commitment to Hibs. But only to an extent. He claims that moving away would be “a bit disrespectful to the club considering I am under contract”. Interesting that he doesn’t instead move to big up life at Hibs. That he doesn’t move to talk about why moving away isn’t for him. Indeed – that’s a door Boyle decided to leave open.
His form has picked up again this season. 15 goals and 12 assists in 47 games is a superb return for a Premiership winger outside of Celtic and Rangers [Transfermarkt]. He’s thriving under Jack Ross and has improved on his end product this term.
In the past, I’ve been against moving for Boyle. I’ve never believed he’s been at the level required to be considered a proper Celtic player. But he’s had a fine campaign and has become one of the most dangerous players in Scotland. If there’s a low-risk opportunity there for Celtic, I couldn’t slam them for taking it.
For now, however, there are no reports of the Hoops revisiting their 2020 interest. It remains to be seen if that changes should Boyle be the man-of-the-match this weekend.