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Last Updated: Friday, 1 December 2006, 09:13 GMT
Hibs pair demand talks on future
Kevin Thomson and Scott Brown during training
Kevin Thomson and Scott Brown are unhappy at their wages
Hibernian midfielders Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson are demanding talks about their future at Easter Road with chief executive Rod Petrie.

It follows a meeting with their agent, Willie McKay, as the players attempt to win a rise in salary.

Petrie is refusing to meet the agent and insists that the club will not break their wage structure.

Celtic, Rangers and at least three English clubs are believed to be preparing January transfer offers.

It is believed that Hibs value the players, who recently signed long-term contracts, at 3m each.

However, they have both stated publicly that they wish to negotiate extensions - but on improved terms.

And that has alerted the likes of the Old Firm, plus Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, West Brom and other English clubs.

The contracts they are on are plainly wrong for players of this stature

Willie McKay

"They are upset," McKay told The Scotsman. "Rod wants to throw the boys a letter and not talk to them face to face.

"He was happy enough to tie them up on their deal face to face, but now he doesn't want to talk.

"I realise working men look at a basic wage of 1,400 a week and know it's a good sum, but these boys are being valued at 3m by their club.

"I realise I will be cast as the villain here, but the contracts they are on are plainly wrong for players of this stature. They have been left high and dry."

Thomson, the Hibs captain, and Brown are likely to be given another opportunity to show their international credentials during a B international against Finland in February.

And Scotland Under-21 manager Archie Knox is urging the duo to stay at Easter Road.

"It's a personal choice," he said. "Everyone wants to play for the biggest teams. There is no doubt about that.

"That's not to say Hibs are not a big team and if they can retain their players then they'll have a better opportunity of getting in amongst medal and winning a cup.

"When it comes down to that, it's a individual choice about where they want to play football.

"But they are Hibernian lads and, if it was at all possible, would like to stay at Hibs and see if it was possible to achieve what they want for the next few years there.

"It's been a wee bit of time since the Premiership were coming up and buying players in Scotland and it's not something we want to see becoming a habit. But money talks.

"If these lads are getting an opportunity to do well at the club they are at and that club can satisfy their financial needs then it would be fine to see them staying and playing their football in Scotland."

SEE ALSO
Thomson keen to extend Hibs stay
27 Nov 06 |  Hibernian
Old Firm track Hibs' midfielders
16 Nov 06 |  Scottish Premier


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