Aberdeen’s bid to sign Dylan McGeouch has taken another twist as Hibs boss Neil Lennon revealed he has not ruled out the possibility of the midfielder staying at Easter Road.
The Dons are understood to have offered the 25-year-old terms that would make him the highest paid player at Pittodrie were he to accept.
However, Lennon and the Hibs board have this week pitched in with a bumper package to try to trump the Dons and interest from south of the border.
McGeouch is out of contract at Hibs this summer and had confirmed he was set to move on.
However, Lennon today insisted there was a “chink of light” that he could do a U-turn and stay after Hibs’ improved offer.
English championship clubs Fulham, Blackburn, Brentford and QPR are all keen on McGeouch and would be able to offer higher wages than available in Scotland – despite the fresh bids from both Aberdeen and Hibs.
But both the Dons and Hibs are set to play in Europe in the new season and offer genuine possibilities of lifting sliverware.
Lennon said: “It’s an interesting one with Dylan because it’s not done yet.
“We are still in there fighting for that.”
McGeouch was voted Hibs’ Player of the Year and bade an emotional farewell to fans in the final game of the season against Rangers.
But now Lennon has renewed hope that the midfielder could yet have a change of heart and remain.
Lennon said: “We’ve a small chink of light.
“The way he was after his last game we felt that may be it but there’s still some movement there.
“The club have made him what we feel is a very good offer.”
McGeouch is currently in South America with Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad.
He is in contention to make his Scotland debut in the friendlies against Peru (May 30) and Mexico (June 2).
McGeouch joined Hibs on loan from Celtic in 2014 following their relegation to the Championship.
He made the move to Easter Road permanent the following summer.
McGeouch was a member of the Hibs squad who won the Scottish Cup in 2016 to end the club’s 114-year wait to lift the trophy.
He was pivotal in helping Hibs secure promotion in 2016-17 and then build on that by finishing fourth in the Premiership in the first season back.
McGeouch is McInnes’ number one target to strengthen a midfield weakened by the loss of loanees Kenny McLean (Norwich) and Ryan Christie (Celtic) who have both returned to their parent clubs.
The Dons have enquired about Peterborough midfielder Chris Forrester and defender-midfielder Jack Baldwin. Both have been placed on the transfer list by League One Posh who will seek a transfer fee for both players.