Scout reveals Hearts ace Osman Sow was close to joining Hibs

Osman Sow is on the brink of a move to China. Pic: Neil Hanna

Osman Sow is on the brink of a move to China. Pic: Neil Hanna

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Former Hibs scout Steve Marsella has revealed that Hearts striker Osman Sow could’ve been scoring goals at Easter Road rather than Tynecastle.

Marsella, who was Terry Butcher’s chief scout when he was manager of Hibs in 2014, claims Hearts only got hold of the Swede because of the Hibees’ relegation to the Championship that summer.

Sow, who is on the brink of a seven-figure move from Hearts to Chinese club Henan Jiaye, had been lined up by Butcher first in January 2014 and then for season 2014/15 until Hibs’ catastrophic demotion.

Marsella said: “Osman’s agent called me and told me I should take a look at him for Hibs.

“I watched Osman play in a development game for Crystal Palace and he was outstanding. He was big and strong and a really top striker.

“I went back to Terry and told him we should try and get him. Just after that Osman picked up an injury.

“We went in for him in the January transfer window of 2014. We knew Osman wouldn’t be fit for a couple of months, but we thought he could really offer us something over the last three months of the season.

“So we went to Palace and Tony Pulis agreed to let Osman come up and the director of football, Iain Moody, blocked it because he thought it was wrong that Palace were sending out a player that wasn’t fully fit.”

Marsella then explained that Hibs managed to agree a deal in principle with Sow for the start of season 2014/15 – until Butcher lost his job following relegation.

“We were told that Osman was being released by Crystal Palace at the end of that season, so we got him up and showed him around Easter Road and the training ground,” continued Marsella.

“He met with Terry Butcher and then came back and told us he wanted to join us. We got together with his agent and agreed terms that would have seen him move to Easter Road that summer.

“Everything was in place and Terry kept in touch with him three or four times.

“Then we ended up getting relegated and Terry lost his job. Terry had to phone Osman up and tell him he could no longer sanction the move.

“The next we heard, Osman had joined Hearts and it’s fair to say his career has never looked back.”