Hibs boss confident of Cummings stay

5 Jul

Hibs' Jason Cummings and Lewis Stevenson celebrate


Cummings (left) helped Hibs lift the Scottish Cup

Neil Lennon hopes Jason Cummings is on the verge of signing a new Hibernian contract despite Rotherham United making contact about the striker.

The 20-year-old’s current deal ends next summer and Lennon has made an extension his priority after taking over as manager.

“I’m hoping to get the negotiations finished off quick,” said Lennon.

“We’re under no pressure to sell him, so I’m not worried about any rumours at all.”

Rotherham’s interest would not be a surprise considering they are now managed by former Hibs boss Alan Stubbs, although the Englishman has promised not to raid the Scottish Championship club of their best players when he left in the summer.

Lennon, who was speaking as 22-year-old central defender Jordan Foster signed a new two-year contract, flew Cummings and his agent out to Paris for face-to-face talks while working as a BBC pundit at Euro 2016.

“If we can keep him, it means we’ve got a 25-goal striker in our ranks, which will be very important if we want to get out of the Championship,” said the former Bolton Wanderers and Celtic manager.

“I think he’s happy here and he knows he’s wanted.

Conrad Logan celebrates with Hibs<!–

Conrad Logan has not been offered a new deal despite his cup-winning role

“I’m still getting to know him, but he has an infectious personality.

“He has got a wee bit of the rascal about him, which I don’t mind. It makes him the player he is.”

Hibs begin their season next Thursday, when they are likely to face Brondby in a Europa League qualifier, with the Danes 4-1 ahead after the opening leg of their first-round tie against Valur of Iceland.

However, Lennon, who has already signed former Rochdale striker Grant Holt, is still seeking a new goalkeeper ahead of the game.

Conrad Logan, who was in goal for their Scottish Cup final victory, has yet to be offered fresh terms, while Mark Oxley is weighing up a move to Southend.

That would leave Finnish youngster Otso Virtanen as the only senior goalkeeper on the books at Hibs, who are assessing Ross Laidlay, formerly of Raith Rovers.

“I know there is interest from Southend in Mark and that will be his decision,” said Lennon.

“But we’ve brought Ross Laidlaw in on trial and we’re having a good look at him. He has impressed us so far.

“But we are still actively looking for a goalkeeper right now because we have to replace Conrad as well.

“Might he re-sign? Well, you never say never, but there are other options for us to look at.”

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