Honduran internationalist Jorge Claros is to remain a Hibs player until the end of the season as the long running saga over the midfield star’s future was finally brought to an end.
Negotiations between the Easter Road side and Claros’ parent club Motagua have been ongoing for some time, with the 27-year-old adamant he wanted to stay in Edinburgh where he, his wife Elsa and their son Johann have happily settled.
Claros, however, appeared to be slipping through Hibs’ fingers barely 24 hours ago as Motagua director Julio Gutierrez urged the Capital outfit to “do something soon”, claiming the player, whose original deal with Hibs was due to expire after this Sunday’s SPL clash with Aberdeen at Pittodrie, had offers from the MLS in America and other European clubs. Only hours later, though, Gutierrez told Honduran newspaper La Tribuna a deal had been struck between Motagua and Hibs to extend Claros’ year-long loan deal for another six months. He said: “Jorge is happy in Scotland and playing every week helps his chances of being in the national team.”
The news will delight Hibs boss Pat Fenlon, who had made no secret of the fact his priority during this transfer window was to secure the on-going services of loan players Leigh Griffiths, Ryan McGivern and Claros. Hibs succeeded in reaching agreements with their clubs, Wolves and Manchester City, last week and now Fenlon will be relieved he doesn’t have to find a replacement for Claros before the transfer window slams shut next Thursday.
But, as the Evening News revealed yesterday, Hibs are set to lose Claros for the William Hill Scottish Cup tie against the Dons at Easter Road a week on Sunday with Honduras beginning the final round of matches in their bid to make next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
Meanwhile, former Rangers winger Gregg Wylde looks like becoming the first January arrival at Easter Road amid reports he’s agreed to return to the SPL on loan with Hibs. Wylde quit Ibrox as Rangers plunged into administration last February, joining English Championship side Bolton Wanderers on a three-year deal.
He failed to make the breakthrough and spent the last two months at League One Bury, their boss Kevin Blackwell saying: “Gregg Wylde has gone back to Bolton after his loan and I believe he has gone to Hibs.” Fenlon has admitted he’s been looking for someone to play out wide with Ivan Sproule having left Hibs to join Ross County after becoming frustrated at his lack of first team action but has been reluctant to indulge in speculation as to who his targets might be. He said: “Anything we are trying to do we will keep in-house.”
While Fenlon has been criticised in some quarters for the number of loan signings he has made, the Hibs boss insisted he was intent on looking long term.
He said: “We want to build a squad and a unity that we think can go places.”