Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has signed Spanish goalkeeper Antonio Reguero on a one-year deal as he seeks to provide stiff competition for No. 1 Mark Oxley.
The big Yorkshireman, who played in all but one of the Easter Road club’s games last season on loan from Hull City, signed a new permanent two-year deal only last week, but Stubbs made no secret of the fact he was looking to add another goalkeeper to his squad.
As the Evening News revealed, Swiss keeper Sascha Struder spent last week on trial at East Mains but, it is understood, Stubbs’ interest in the former Mansfield Town man has waned and instead Stubbs chose to bring in 33-year-old Reguero.
The Spaniard began his career with his hometown club Real Madrid but was released after suffering a serious knee injury and thereafter spent much of his career playing for a host of clubs in Spain’s second tier before deciding to move abroad, signing for Terry Butcher’s Inverness Caley.
He moved on to Kilmarnock but in June last year returned to the Highlands, joining Ross County without having played a game for Killie. He made 16 appearances for the Staggies but was one of 14 players released by manager Jim McIntyre at the end of the season.
“This is a great move for me,” said Reguero. “I’ve really enjoyed the last three years in Scotland and I’m very pleased with my move to Hibernian. The club face a big challenge next season and I’m looking forward of being part of our bid for promotion.”
Hibs are also interested in signing Keith Watson. The 25-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan with Hibs, making just nine appearances during which he displayed his versatility in playing right back, right wing back and centre half only to be ruled out of the final games of the season with a hamstring injury.
However, with his Tannadice contract now at an end, Watson has joined Hibs in travelling to the Spanish resort of La Manga for a week’s training ahead of the club’s first pre-season friendly against Berwick Rangers at Shielfield next Tuesday. Watson made the same trip in May as Hibs prepared for their play-off matches against Rangers and, during his stay in the south of Spain, he revealed his desire to remain a Hibee – and now he has the chance to again impress Stubbs.
The fact he has been invited to link-up with his former team-mates again, though, would indicate the hopes ex-Raith Rovers defender Paul Watson has of clinching a deal with Hibs have faded, the former Livingston player having also been on trial at East Mains as Stubbs looks to further strengthen his playing squad.
Meanwhile, striker Farid El Alagui joined winger Martin Boyle in being left behind as Hibs flew out to Spain yesterday, the two players still recovering from knee surgery.
Stubbs had already revealed Boyle, who tore his medial ligament in Hibs’ final Championship match having scored the opening goal in a 3-0 win over Falkirk, would remain in Edinburgh to continue his rehabilitation on a one-to-one basis with the club’s medical staff but admitted he was swithering over whether El Alagui should make the journey or not.
In the end, he decided the French-born Moroccan, who had a “clear-up” operation on his knee having missed seven months with a ruptured Achilles tendon, would also benefit more from remaining at East Mains where he is due to begin jogging this week.