Caley Thistle manager John Hughes hopes his previous workings with Anthony Stokes could help swing a deal to bring the Celtic attacker to the Highlands.
Hughes confirmed yesterday he has approached the Hoops about Stokes’ availability, with the Irishman out of favour at Parkhead having made just two appearances this season.
Stokes was also suspended for two weeks by Celtic after complaining about not being selected by manager Ronny Deila for his side’s 3-1 victory at Inverness in November.
Hughes knows he faces competition to land the 27-year-old, from clubs both north and south of the border, but the Caley Jags manager is hopeful he can strike a deal to take Stokes to Inverness, having previously worked with him while manager at Falkirk and Hibernian.
Hughes said: “We’ve touched base to see if he’s available. Celtic want him to go south and I think that’s where he wants to go. There are a few clubs in Scotland sniffing about him.
“If Celtic feel he has to play football, then what better to come and work with his old manager. I know what buttons to press with Anthony and to get the best out of him. I brought him as a youngster from Falkirk and he was a revelation. He was a revelation again when I got him at Hibs.
“He could strike up a partnership with Miles Storey. He could play the mature role and help Miles along; the pace of Miles with the craft and genius of Anthony.
“Hopefully, if he’s staying in Scotland and needs to play football, we might come up trumps. I’ve heard Leeds are in for him but I keep in touch with him. All we’ve done is made an inquiry – it’s now in the hands of Anthony, the agent and what’s best for Celtic.”
Hughes confirmed on-loan Charlton attacker Tobi Sho-Silva has left Caley Jags, having made just five appearances since joining in September, while Spanish forward Dani Lopez is also close to sealing a return to his homeland.
Inverness have had former Torquay United forward Alex Fisher on trial and Hughes is keen to complete a deal, but says it will depend on whether he can offload current members of his squad.
Hughes added: “That one’s touch and go. We need to create the finance and hopefully over the next couple of days that will be done.
“It would be done until the end of the season to give him the opportunity.
“His attitude has been magnificent. He’s a worker and has a good physical presence. We’re 50-50 on that one because one or two have to leave for that one to get done.”