Scottish Daily Mail

Hibs blow as Barnsley turn down Sibbick bid


BARNSLEY have kicked out a Hibernian bid for central defender Toby Sibbick.

A former loan signing for city rivals Hearts, 22-year-old Sibbick has fallen out of favour at the English Championsh­ip side.

And Sportsmail understand­s talks over a permanent move to Easter Road broke down late last week.

Signed by former Tynecastle boss Daniel Stendel, Sibbick played twice for Hearts before season 2019-20 was cut short by Covid. He now looks likely to return to Belgian football, where he spent six months on loan at Barnsley’s partner club KV Oostende last year.

With the move for Sibbick having stalled, Hibs boss Shaun Maloney could now turn to 22-year-old Norwich defender Rocky Bushiri.

Maloney is aware of the Belgium Under-21 internatio­nal’s reputation following a spell as assistant to Roberto Martinez for the senior side — and is looking at a potential six-month loan deal.

The move to sign a new central defender comes despite Oostende cooling their interest in Easter Road centre-half Ryan Porteous.

Entering the last 18 months of his contract, Porteous was one of five centre-backs on a shortlist compiled by the Belgians, but he looks unlikely to attract a firm bid.

Hibs are also battling to hold on to Australian internatio­nal Martin Boyle after growing interest from the Middle East. The club’s top scorer was the target of a bid from Saudi Arabian side Al-Faisaly last month, with reports claiming a mystery Middle East club have now dangled the carrot of £1million-a-year in a quest to land the 28-year-old.

Hibs have been busy in the transfer market, signing Elias Melkersen, Ewan Henderson and Harry Clarke. Chris Mueller has joined up with the squad following his move from Orlando City, while Dylan Tait has returned from his loan with Raith Rovers.

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