Ofir Marciano has revealed he wishes to stay at Hibs for their return to the Premiership next season if a deal can be struck with his parent club FC Ashdod.
The goalkeeper has been rejuvenated by his season-long loan move to Easter Road and has reclaimed his place in the Israel national team after a difficult time last term which led him going a full year without any competitive games at club level.
Although at fault for Aberdeen’s second goal as Hibs lost 3-2 in Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden, Marciano has been a consistent and impressive performer for Neil Lennon’s team this season, and most supporters are eager to see him retained.
The 27-year-old, who is contracted to Israeli club Ashdod for another year, insists he currently has no idea whether a deal – either loan or permanent – can be brokered this summer to bring him back to Edinburgh next season, but he confirmed he is keen to stay with the newly-crowned Championship winners.
“I don’t know what is going to happen,” he said. “We haven’t discussed it yet. It will be spoken about between my agent and my club in Israel. We wanted to win the league first and then we’ve had the semi-final to concentrate on over the past week.
“All I can say is I’m really happy here and appreciate what the people around the club do for me, the support and the love I get. When you get so much love at a place, you want to stay, obviously. But I don’t know because I’m on loan – we’ll have to wait and see.”
Marciano and his wife have found contentment in Edinburgh over the past nine months after a loan move to Belgian side Mouscron-Perawelz swiftly turned sour last season. He has enjoyed working under Lennon.
“This club has been good for me this year – the gaffer and everybody else around the club have been good for me,” he said. “I’m happy with the situation here. I’m happy with the gaffer and how he treats me. I get all the support I need from him. He pushes me all the time to be a better player. I like that because this is the way to become a better goalie.”
Marciano is one of several Hibs players whose contracts expire this summer. The club have already agreed a pre-contract with St Johnstone midfielder Danny Swanson, who will join in the summer on a two-year deal.