Montgomery – who guided the Mariners to the Championship last season on the lowest budget in the A-League – is expected to depart for Edinburgh within the next 48 hours to finalise the deal.
However, Peil is pulling out all the stops to delay the inevitable departure of the former Scotland U-21 international, with a compensation fee to the Mariners yet to be agreed, plus personal terms between Montgomery and Hibs.
The Scottish Premiership club, home to Aussies Martin Boyle, Jimmy Jeggo and Lewis Miller, view Montgomery, 41, as the ideal candidate to replace the axed Lee Johnson, despite initially being linked with the likes of ex-Celtic coach Neil Lennon.
Hibs’ majority owner, Peruvian-born US-based businessman Ronald Gordon, has been impressed by Montgomery’s track record in scouting and nurturing young talent, not to mention the tactical acumen which saw Central Coast cap a momentous season by thrashing premiers Melbourne City 6-1 in the A-League grand final.
The struggling Easter Road side picked up their first points of the new season with a 2-0 win at Aberdeen over the weekend under caretaker David Gray, with former Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre getting on the scoresheet.
They face second placed Kilmarnock after the international break in what could be Montgomery’s first game in charge.
After the exit of key players like Sammy Silvera, Nectar Triantis, Jason Cummings and James McGarry, the club were already facing a major rebuild.
With Montgomery now seemingly gone, that task becomes exponentially more challenging.
Peil declined to comment publicly when contacted by FTBL, other than to confirm Hibernian had made an approach for his lauded coach.
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