HIBERNIAN striker Leigh Griffiths says he is enjoying his best-ever season after joining defender Ryan McGivern in extending his loan deal until the end of the season.
• Backup keeper Sean Murdoch also extends contract until end of season
• Easter Road club still in talks with Motagua over extending Jorge Claros loan deal
• Griffiths and McGivern both delighted to extend loan deals
Wolves forward Griffiths notched 14 goals and earned a Scotland debut – against Luxembourg in November – during a memorable first half to the campaign, while left-back McGivern has been a regular in the Easter Road side that sits fourth in the SPL, after joining from Manchester City in August.
Back-up goalkeeper Sean Murdoch has also signed a new permanent six-month deal, while Hibs remain in talks with Motagua about prolonging Honduras international midfielder Jorge Claros’ loan beyond January.
But Griffiths’ delight at extending his temporary contract could be tempered if Scottish Football Association compliance officer Vincent Lunny decides to hand out a notice of complaint over his Twitter controversy. It is understood that Lunny is still investigating whether the player has breached any rules after Griffiths last week become embroiled in an alleged racism row.
The 22-year-old responded to fellow Twitter user Zaq Iqbal with “f*** off back to your own country, ya clown” before later apologising.
Griffiths, whose previous contract was due to expire after Saturday’s clash with Dundee, said: “This season has been the most enjoyable of my career so far and I’m really pleased to be staying at Hibs. I’ve been playing for the team I support and scoring goals to help the club challenge near the top of the table. Now the loan deal has been extended I can focus on my football and repay the club and the manager for continuing to show their faith in me.”
Hibs manager Pat Fenlon is expected to confirm at his weekly press conference today, whether Griffiths will be available for selection for the visit of his former club this weekend.
Both Hibs and Wolves condemned the Twitter comment, and the Leith side insisted that the forward would face internal disciplinary proceedings, the result of which would remain private. But Fenlon has expressed satisfaction that two key players will be at his disposal for the remainder of the season.
The Irishman said: “We are delighted to be able to keep both players until the end of the season. Both Leigh and Ryan have made massive contributions to the team and have been good for us. We’ve already said that we would do everything we could to keep them at Hibernian and fortunately all that hard work has come to fruition.
“This gives everybody connected to the club a boost as we return after the winter break for Saturday’s game against Dundee.”
McGivern, who has proved a solid left-back, and effective centre-half in captain James McPake’s recent absence, said: “Ever since I moved here to Hibs, I’ve felt part of the club and I’m really pleased to be able to stay here until the end of the season.
“I’ve been playing regular first-team football which was my main aim and I believe I’ve learned a huge amount since August. The fans have been brilliant towards me and I want to help the team build on our encouraging start to the season.”
Wolves announced they still have the option to extend Griffiths’ contract by a further year when his deal expires in May. In a statement confirming his extended deal at Hibs, Wolves said: “Wolves have a further year’s option on Griffiths from the end of the season, meaning he is effectively secured to the club until the summer of 2014.”