Hibs’ shock signing Jorge Claros has had his debut put on hold as the Easter Road club complete the necessary paperwork to secure the Honduran midfield star’s work permit, the Evening News can reveal today.
Supporters had been hoping to see the 26-year-old pitched straight into action in Saturday’s William Hill Cup clash with Kilmarnock, but they will now have to wait until the following weekend and the visit of Aberdeen to see Claros in a green and white jersey.
But while accepting the delay will disappoint fans, boss Pat Fenlon was nevertheless delighted to have secured Claros on a year-long loan deal, a move seen as something of a coup for Hibs, given Rangers’ strong interest in the player nicknamed “The Pitbull.”
Ibrox manager Ally McCoist had raved about the player following a trial in Glasgow but found himself unable to offer the star – a close friend of Celtic’s Emilio Izaguirre – a contract.
Fenlon, who saw St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin opt to stay put in Paisley and Dundee’s Gavin Rae decide on a switch to his hometown club of Aberdeen rather than come to Edinburgh, said: “It was a position we’d been looking at. We got a tip-off that Claros might be available, we pursued it and it worked out.
“We knew a lot about him, we had done our homework and to be honest, it only took 45 minutes of a bounce game on Monday for us to see what we thought he was.”
Claros has been desperate to follow in Izaguirre’s footsteps in coming to Europe and Fenlon believes the deal for a player rated at £800,000 by his club Motagua will be ideal for both parties.
He said: “From our point-of-view we are getting a good player, one who gives us real quality, and it allows him to put himself in the shop window.
“Unfortunately he definitely won’t be available this weekend. I know the supporters have heard a lot about him and would like to see him play but, while there is no problem with the work permit, we have to get the paperwork done.”
Carlos was just one of four players arriving at Easter Road on transfer deadline day, the signings of Gambian internationalist Pa Saikou Kujabi on an 18-month contract and the loan deals for Coventry City forward Roy O’Donovan and Wolves defender Matt Doherty completing a hectic 24 hours for Fenlon.
He said: “It was a long, long day but I’m happy to get the players we were looking for. Pa has done very well in the time he has been with us while Roy and Matt are coming in from good leagues.”
The new arrivals join earlier signings Eoin Doyle, Tom Soares and James McPake while Michael Hart became the latest to depart following the exits of Matt Thornhill, Junior Agogo, Victor Palsson, Akpo sodje and David Crawford.
Fenlon said: “Michael is a really good professional but at his age he wants to be playing regularly, there’s no point him sitting around.
“We knew we needed change, a few have left, we’ve some good players here and we’ve added a few more. I hope that will help.”