What Hibernian boss Lee Johnson has said about Bristol Rovers transfer target Jake Doyle-Hayes

Hibernian’s transfer stance revealed on Bristol Rovers transfer target Doyle-Hayes
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Bristol Rovers are in the transfer market for up to six new players this month and the latest name to be linked with a move is Hibernian midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes.

Joey Barton has spoken of his desire to bring in players that can complement the Gas’ bid for a second successive promotion, and midfield is an area that has been considered for strengthening. The priority is to sign new defenders especially after Alfie Kilgour’s sale to Mansfield Town and Bobby Thomas’ move across the league to Barnsley. On-loan Everton centre-back Lewis Gibson is also injured, making James Conolly the only available centre-back.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Midfield however is an area that Rovers have encountered some difficulties in this season with a few players suffering injuries, which has had them sidelined for periods. Summer signing Jordan Rossiter and Sam Finley were building up a partnership, but an injury to the former Liverpool midfielder has left them slightly short in that department. Club captain Paul Coutts has slotted back in whilst 39-year-old player coach Glenn Whelan has come in also.

A move for another centre midfielder could be a wide decision however, with more players expected to be moved on.Affiliate newspaper Edinburgh Evening News claim that Rovers are interested in a move for the central midfielder, but that other clubs are also interested, more specifically from abroad.

At this stage, it is just interest that has been reported and that no bid has been lodged for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international. Doyle-Hayes rejected a move to League One rivals Forest Green Rovers, though they are embroiled in a relegation battle, meanwhile Rovers are looking up rather than down.

What has Hibernian manager Lee Johnson said?

Doyle-Hayes made a return to action for the Edinburgh club last weekend after a four month lay-off. He injured his ankle which was complicated after a tackle from his own manager Lee Johnson, who used to play and manage Rovers’ rivals Bristol City.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Johnson spoke last Friday, and revealed that a move to Forest Green Rovers would not be happening. A bid was accepted but the former Aston Villa youth ace turned down a move to the New Lawn. Interest remains in Doyle-Hayes, but is there a possibility he remains at Easter Road?

“Forest Green isn’t happening,” he said in an interview with Edinburgh Evening News on January 13. “There’s interest in Jake; I don’t want to lie to you, that’s the case. But he’s not one that I’ve been actively saying, ‘I want him out of the club’.

"Jake is a good football player. I think me and my coaching staff can improve him. He’s young enough. He’s in the building and he’s in the squad. He’s a good football player; I worked with him for half an hour after training on Thursday – can I get him to play forward more, can I get him in positions where he can play forward and dictate the game with the skillset he already has, making sure the blend is right next to him, controlling the middle of the pitch rather than the half-spaces. These are all things we discussed and this is going on on a day-by-day basis with all the players.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.