Anthony Stokes is in informal talks with Hibs about the possibility of signing a loan deal until the end of the season according to media reports over the weekend.

Hibs’ Head Coach refused to confirm or deny the reports when questioned about the move.

The 27-year-old Republic of Ireland striker spent just over a year With Hibs during the 2009/10 season and scored an impressive 24 goals in 48 games before moving to Celtic.

He started his career with Arsenal but made his mark in Scottish football during a loan spell with Falkirk before joining fellow Irishman Roy Keane at Sunderland.

His signing was a major coup for Hibs where he formed a dangerous partnership with Derek Riordan.

Former Hibs’ manager John Collins who is currently number 2 at Celtic Park confirmed that the striker is likely to go out on loan during the January transfer window and both Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Dundee United have been linked.

Despite his links to Inverness  boss John Hughes who took him to Falkirk and Hibs, it is understood that Stokes  would prefer a move back to Easter Road where former team-mates Dylan McGeouch and Liam Henderson are regulars in the first team.

The move has been the subject of much debate on social media and whilst the majority of Hibs’ fans would welcome him back, a proportion are concerned about his off field reputation. Earlier this season he tweeted his unhappiness about being taken to Inverness for a league game then not being included in the squad.