Michael Hart has warned Hibernian and any other suitors that he will only quit Preston for the same money he is on at Deepdale.
Former Aberdeen defender Hart is prepared to sit out the final year of his contract if he is unable to agree a similar deal elsewhere.
Hart said in the Sunday Mail: "I was closing to leaving before Darren came in - either on loan or a transfer. Hibs were there or thereabouts and the deal was almost done the morning Alan got sacked."
Hart, who joined Preston two-and-a-half years ago, added: "At Aberdeen, I played every week and I need that again to prove my worth. But I have a decent contract at Preston and I'm 30 now.
"So I'm not going to walk away from it unless I have something else on similar terms."
Hart has not given up hope of resurrecting his career at Deepdale, saying: "I'll see if I can change the gaffer's mind in training and maybe come off the transfer list.
"But if I'm going to sit in the reserves I'd rather move on. Until I get the release papers, though, I'm not pushing for anything.
"Hibs are the ones who have shown an interest but I've not spoken in depth with them. They're a great club and John Hughes is a great manager. So if that came about then great."
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