HIBS boss Alan Stubbs is poised to hi-jack John Hughes’ bid to take Anthony Stokes to Inverness Caley Thistle.
The out-of-favour Celtic frontman will be allowed to leave the champions on a loan deal this month.
It looked as though he was heading for the Highlanders to be reunited with Hughes, who was his gaffer at Falkirk and Hibs.
However, Stubbs will launch a move to take the 27-year-old Republic of Ireland frontman to Easter Road for the second time in his career.
The club have already made an enquiry about the player who is under contract at the Hoops until June 2017.
Stubbs is determined to land the proven goalscorer as he attempts to guide the Edinburgh men back to the Premiership.
Celtic assistant boss John Collins, a close friend of Hughes, has already said a move to Caley Thistle would benefit the marksman who recently served a two-week suspension following comments on social media.
Dundee United, Cardiff City, Leeds United and Barnsley have also been linked with Stokes, who knows he needs game time if he is to get the nod from Martin O’Neill to join his squad in France for the Euro Championship Finals in the summer.
It is also understood a return to Easter Road holds an appeal for the player.
Ex-gaffer Neil Lennon paid the Edinburgh outfit £1.2million to sign Stokes in August 2010.
He has scored 58 goals in 135 league games, but he last started a game for Ronny Deila’s team against Dundee United in August.
The player wasn’t involved in yesterday’s 3-0 Scottish Cup victory over Stranraer at Stair Park.
Stubbs already has young Hoops midfielder Liam Henderson on loan and he made Dylan McGeouch’s move permanent in the summer.
Now he wants Stokes to join in his push for the Championship crown.

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