Hibs baffled by Graham Arnold claims as manager hunt continues - but deadline day signing unlikely
From early pacesetters like Scott Brown and Neil Lennon to recently-heralded candidates Stephen Robinson and Graham Arnold, there have been reports that the prime candidates have already been approached but club insiders insist that the search is far from over.
It is understood that the recent comments from the Australia national team boss, who told the Australian football website Keep Up that he had been offered but turned down the job, have baffled and annoyed key people at the club, who are adamant that no firm job proposal was made.
The Socceroos coach was viewed as a stronger contender and it is likely he would have made the shortlist had he been interested but he was by no means the only coach in the reckoning.
Still in the process of sounding out prospects and drawing up a shortlist, the intention remains to find a new team leader by the end of the upcoming international break.
That timeline is unchanged, and it is expected that interviews will be carried out next week.
The recruitment drive is being headed by Director of Football Brian McDermott, aided by co-owner and executive director Ian Gordon, along with chief executive Ben Kensell, and, as the fourth managerial appointment in four years, there is pressure to find the right man to bring stability and foster growth on the pitch in the hope that the first team success will reflect the positivity elsewhere in the squad.
Other contenders include Ross County boss Malky Mackay, while it would seem sensible that Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes would be in the mix. Australian-based, former Scotland Under-21 midfielder Nick Montgomery is also a contender but would be viewed as more of a gamble.
The long list of possibilities also includes others from south of the border and from outwith the UK and they are currently being scrutinised for pros and cons before the next stage, with the board still hopeful of having the new gaffer in place by the time Hibs travel to Kilmarnock on September 16, to resume Premiership duties after the international break.
While things are busy behind the scenes in the search for their latest manager, little action is anticipated on the playing front ahead of the transfer window closing at midnight tonight.
With three defeats from the first three Premiership fixtures, fans had hoped to see at least one or two more bodies added to the squad as they look to improve on last term’s final standing by finding a way to leapfrog Aberdeen and capital rivals Hearts and enhance their chances of qualifying for European group stage action next season.
But, with investment in nine signings already this summer and no manager in situ to push for more, a very quiet final day of the summer window is expected.
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