HIBS boss Jack Ross has ruled out a transfer swoop for former Hearts keeper Jon McLaughlin.
The Easter Road boss signed the Scotland international shotstopper for Sunderland when he came out of contract at Tynecastle in the summer of 2018.
Ross has been linked with McLaughlin after confirming on-loan Preston netminder Chris Maxwell is on his way from the Edinburgh club.
The goalie’s season-long deal has been cut short after the Deepdale star told Ross he wanted to leave to get first-team football.
Maxwell started the first five games after Ross replaced Paul Heckingbottom, but then lost his place to Ofir Marciano.
He didn’t travel to Hibs’ winter training camp in Spain, with back-up goalie Adam Bogdan taking his place, despite his deal expiring last week.
Ross, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “In terms of keepers, we were in an unusual situation at the end of last month, in that we had three senior goalies who all wanted to be first choice.
“Now Chris Maxwell has intimated that, having found himself out of the team, he’d prefer to leave and play regular first-team football.
GLOVE AFFAIR…Jack Ross rates ex-Hearts keeper Jon McLaughlin, but won’t move for him.
“So, the club are in the process of trying to find something that will suit him.
“That would hopefully leave us with a situation where we would have Adam Bogdan along with Ofir Marciano, until the end of the season.
“The deal for Adam is not quite settled yet, but, hopefully, that will soon be the case.
“Beyond that, I don’t think we’re in a position where we can do a huge amount at the moment.”
McLaughlin, 32, was one of Ross’ first signings when he was appointed Black Cats manager in 2018.
The former Jambos No 1 found himself out of favour at the League One side last month, but is now back in possession of the gloves.
McLaughlin is a free agent in the summer, but his old boss is certain there will be plenty of interest.
Ross added: “Jon was brilliant for me as a person and a player and his contract is up at the end of the season.
“But he has done well enough to ensure he’ll not be short of offers. There is no interest from us.”