Burnley make approach for highly-rated Scottish defender

Burnley are understood to have made an approach for Hibernian defender Josh Doig — with Easter Road head coach Jack Ross braced for losing the highly-rated teenager in the coming days.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 7:00 am
Jack Ross, Manager of Hibernian FC looks on prior to the Scottish Cup Final between Hibernian and St Johnstone at Hampden Park on May 22, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Scotland Under-19 international sat out Hibs’ opening Premiership match against Motherwell; a game they won 3-2 after coming from behind twice at Fir Park.

The Evening News, part of JPI Media, reported that the Clarets were leading the race for the full back, with at least three Premier League and Championship clubs believed to have upped their interest in the left-footer.

“He’s still a Hibs player and it’s not impossible that he’ll still be a Hibs player come the end of the window,” said Ross.

Josh Doig of Hibernian and Craig Conway of St Johnstone battle for possession during the Betfred Cup Semi-Final match between St Johnstone and Hibernian at Hampden Park on January 23, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Certainly how things have developed over the past few days it looks much more likely that he’ll leave and if he does so it will be a fantastic move for him and good value for us as a club.

“Ideally, for me as a manager, you want those things to happen much sooner than in the last couple of days but you’ve got to deal with the problem it creates and find a solution.

“It’s been a challenging few days for him as he’s only 19 and it’s a new experience for him.

“We’ll see him again on Monday and we’ll go from there. At the moment it looks much more likely that he’ll be going soon."Doig, who featured in Hibs’ 2-1 win against FC Santa Cloma in the Europa Conference League on Thursday night, burst onto the scene at the start of last season.

Josh Doig of Hibernian FC makes a cross whilst under pressure from Marc McNulty of Dundee United during the William Hill Scottish Cup match between Dundee United and Hibernian at Hampden Park on May 08, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

He made 35 appearances across the board as he earned individual Young Player of the Year accolades while featuring in a Scottish League Cup semi-final and a Scottish FA Cup final.

Ross added: “There are two clubs definitely interested and whether any more come to the table on the back of this I don’t know.

“At the moment he has good options. It’s thoroughly deserved because of what he’s done here.

"The last two or three days have been more challenging. It’s very easy to say don’t get your head scrambled but he’s a young man.

‘He’s a really good boy, Josh. I can’t speak highly enough of him as a person and he’s handled it well to date.

"But for all concerned, us as a club and Josh as a young man, I think we need it concluded one way or the other. If he ends up staying then fantastic. If he doesn’t then he goes with my best wishes.”

The Capital club rejected a £2.5 million offer from top flight newcomers Watford earlier this summer, with Graeme Mathie ordering interested parties to up their bids.

The Sporting Director had previously aired his disdain for a handful of approaches, labelling them “disrespectful” and “patronising”.

“If Josh Doig performs how he performed last season in English League One and got to a national final, teams would be willing to spend far more money on him,” Mathie said in a recent interview.

"We finished third in the league, we’re in Europe, we got to a cup final, and these bids are really disrespectful.

"All people need to do is to walk into our sports science department and ask these people about Josh’s athletic potential, and their eyes light up. They will say that this kid is genuinely an elite-level athlete, he has the potential to be right at the top level."

He added: "With his technical ability, athleticism, his desire, his attitude, we’ve got an amazing prospect on our hands here.

"I would love a club to come to me and say ‘we think we can turn this boy into a £50M player, here’s how we're going to develop him, we’ll give you 'x' if he achieves this, and we’ll give you 'y' if he does that, and within a certain number of years, we think he would be at the top level of the game’.

"That makes a conversation far easier. It becomes less of a transaction and more of a relationship. But right now, we feel some clubs have been quite patronising and more transactional, and it is hard.

"For the boy himself, obviously, he wants to go to a bigger club, like every other young player, but he is also happy here.”