Hibs star Isaiah Osbourne was today poised to finally clinch his move to English Championship outfit Blackpool.
The midfielder was left behind as Pat Fenlon’s squad flew out for their mini-tour of Europe earlier in the week after the Lancashire side stepped in with a surprise bid for the 24-year-old.
Negotiations have taken place over the past four days and, barring a last-minute hitch, Osbourne will sign a 12-month deal with an option for a further year. Although no fee has been disclosed, reports down south claim Hibs will receive a six-figure sum thought to be well short of the £250,000 which was being claimed earlier in the week.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has long been an admirer of Birmingham-born Osbourne, first spotting him as a youngster at Aston Villa. Holloway actually signed the rangy
powerhouse on loan from Villa when he was manager at nearby Leicester City in 2008 but the player was forced to return to his parent club in answer to an injury crisis without playing a game for the Foxes.
However, Holloway has kept tabs on Osbourne, signed for former Hibs boss Colin Calderwood as a free agent last summer, and was apparently impressed with his 35 appearances in a green and white shirt last season in which he scored just the one goal.
Blackpool are currently in Portugal for a pre-season training camp but Holloway has spoken to Osbourne and a source at Bloomfield Road said: “The manager has admired Isaiah for a long time. We have been in talks with Hibernian for the last few days and are very hopeful a deal will go through in the next 24 hours.
“The manager has spoken to Isaiah by phone from the training camp in Portugal and is looking forward to having him at the club.”
Osbourne will be the Seasiders first significant signing of the summer and he will step straight into the first-team set-up where he will face stiff competition for a midfield berth from the likes of ex-Rangers star Barry Ferguson, Angel Martinez, Keith Southern,
Ludovic Sylvestre and Chris Basham.
Meanwhile, two goals from David Paul and another from Jay Doyle gave Hibs Under-20s a 3-1 win over Finn Harps to clinch their place in the final of the Foyle Cup in which they will face Ballymena.