Jack Ross: Hibernian head coach braced for interest in trio Josh Doig, Ryan Porteous and Kevin Nisbet

Hibernian boss Jack Ross recognises he could face a battle to keep hold of his best players; Josh Doig and Ryan Porteous respond to ongoing speculation linking them with moves away from Easter Road, while Kevin Nisbet is also attracting interest

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Hibernian boss Jack Ross says he is expecting interest in defenders Josh Doig and Ryan Porteous plus striker Kevin Nisbet this summer

Jack Ross admits he is bracing himself amid ongoing interest for in-demand Hibernian trio Josh Doig, Ryan Porteous and Kevin Nisbet.

Doig, who won the 2020/21 Scottish Football Writers' Association's Young Player of the Year award, is known to have attracted interest from the likes of Celtic, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Porteous and Nisbet were coveted by Championship sides Millwall and Birmingham City in the last transfer window, and Hibs' executive chairman Ron Gordon has not ruled out sales this summer.

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Matt Macey says he is looking forward to the new season after becoming Hibernian's number one following the departure of Ofir Marciano

"We have still got them at the moment, they are still here training with me," Hibs head coach Ross said.

"Naturally I want to keep them but I am not naïve enough to not expect there to be either interest, or concrete interest.

"We just have to make sure that we are ready for that because there will come the right time for these players to move as well.

"Should the problem we don't want arise, we have just got to find a solution to it."

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EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 13: Hibernian manager Jack Ross during a pre-season friendly between Hibernian and Arsenal at Easter Road, on July 13, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Image: Ross believes the Scottish Premiership is as strong as it has been for some time

Ross is expecting different challenges to last year, with the return of the Edinburgh derby following Hearts' promotion back to the top-flight.

Hibs were runners-up to St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup final last season, but can look forward to European football in the form of the inaugural UEFA Conference League.

"People would argue that the Premiership is as strong as it has been in recent times," Ross added.

"I think when you look at the teams involved in it, the number of derby matches you have got through the course of the season, those bring different dynamics and challenges as well.

"We proved last year that we had a good squad here and good players that were capable of meeting a lot of those challenges. There are a lot of exciting games."

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Hibs midfielder Scott Allan discusses opening up about his heart condition and how that, and his openness about his type 1 diabetes has helped others in similar situations

Hibs kick off their Scottish Premiership campaign with a 4.30pm kick-off at Motherwell on Sunday, August 1, live on Sky Sports Football.

Doig and Porteous respond to transfer speculation

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Doig discusses his future amid interest from Chelsea, Arsenal and Celtic plus looks ahead to the new season

Doig is determined to focus on his development, despite the highly-rated left-back being linked with a move away from Easter Road.

Responding to the gossip about his future, the 19-year-old told Sky Sports News: "There's always speculation, I know that myself.

"For me just now, it is getting back fit, fully fit. Obviously I was out with Covid and it took away my edge, my fitness.

"I am so happy at Hibs, I absolutely love it here. They were so good to me, developing me in the gym, on the pitch as well tactically, and I can't thank them enough.

"I've got another year to develop here as well and I am looking forward to it."

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Porteous insists he is happy at Hibernian despite reports of a move away from the club

Fellow defender Porteous, meanwhile, has personal ambitions to be a regular for club and country and insists he is happy at Hibs.

Speaking to Sky Sports News about his own future, the 22-year-old said: "I think everyone knows that I am really happy at Hibs. I think I am progressing well under the gaffer and John Potter, I think they are really good with me.

"We have got some really big European football games and if we can qualify from the group stages of the Conference League it would be massive for my development, and let's hope we can do that."

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