Paul Hanlon hopes Liam Fontaine will stay at Hibs

Liam Fontaine is yet to agree a new deal with Hibs

Liam Fontaine is yet to agree a new deal with Hibs

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Paul Hanlon is desperate for his trusty defensive partner Liam Fontaine to agree to stay on at Hibs.

The pair formed a strong alliance as Alan Stubbs’ two first-choice centre-backs last season.

Fontaine’s contract expired at the end of the campaign, but he has been in negotiations with the club aimed at extending his time in Edinburgh.

An announcement is expected imminently over whether the Englishman will be remaining at Hibs, with Hanlon particularly eager to see his fellow centre-back commit his future to Easter Road so they can continue to develop as a partnership.

“It would be great if Fonts could sign on,” he said. “I loved playing with him last season. 
I had to move to the right of central defence but I enjoyed it and felt we formed a good pairing. I’m looking forward to hopefully keeping that going. It’s a good thing as a central 
defender to have someone next to you that’s a proper partnership and they’re not in it for themselves.

“It can show on the pitch and playing with Liam is one of my favourite partnerships I’ve had. He’s been down south with his family the last few weeks and the club are keen to keep him so fingers crossed it happens.”

Hibs are still without a goalkeeper and were linked with a move for their former captain Ben Williams over the weekend. The Mancunian, who spent two years at Easter Road before departing last summer, is out of contract after spending last season at Bradford City. It remains to be seen whether Mark Oxley will return to the Capital following a season-long stint on loan from Hull City last term.

The Easter Road club, meanwhile, made a move to sign St Mirren midfielder John McGinn earlier this month, but the compensation fee involved appears to have ended 
their hopes of taking their interest in the highly-regarded 20-year-old any further.