LUBOMIR MICHALIK has turned down a new deal with Carlisle, paving the way for Hibs manager Pat Fenlon to swoop for the defender.
The Slovakian internationalist had been offered a new contract at Brunton Park, but manager Greg Abbott has revealed that the 28-year-old has knocked it back.
Michalik had spent some weeks mulling over the chance to stay with Carlisle, but is now a free agent and it is believed that he would relish a new challenge and could be tempted to head further north.
Fenlon faces a rebuilding task over the summer, following the departure of a number of players from last season.
The Easter Road side was peppered with loan signings in the second half of the 2011/12 campaign and the majority of them left the club following the Scottish Cup final.
Fenlon is keen to bring back James McPake, who wore the captain’s armband in the final months of the SPL season, and sees Michalik as the perfect foil. However Hibs could face competition for Michalik’s signature as Preston North End and Swindon Town are also believed to be interested in securing his services.
The 6ft 5in defender was first brought to Britain five years ago when he was signed for Bolton by Sam Allardyce and went on to sign for Leeds United in 2008 before moving to Carlisle.
Having been told of Michalik’s decision not to stay, Abbot moved quickly to sign former Hull City defender Mike Edwards as his replacement.
The Brunton Park boss said: “I see Mike as a replacement for Lubomir Michalik, in light of the fact that he has decided to go and play his football elsewhere.
“I’ve had an idea for a while now that Lubo was going to turn us down and, with that in mind, I’ve been talking to Mike about moving up here for most of the summer.”
Meanwhile, newly-promoted SPL side Ross County were today linked with a bid to take Easter Road midfielder Martin Scott on loan for the new season.
Talks have already taken place between the two clubs and both Hibs and Scott are believed to be keen for the deal to go through, although the player would prefer to make the move to Dingwall on a permanent basis.
The midfielder still has two years of his Easter Road deal to run.