Chris Mueller agrees pre-contract deal with Hibs as Easter Road side snaps up USMNT forward
Hibs have confirmed the signing of American forward Chris Mueller on a pre-contract.
The 24 year-old is scheduled to join Jack Ross’ squad for free at the beginning of January but it is understood that the Leith side are still working behind the scenes to agree a fee that would allow them to accelerate that switch.
Rated highly by the Easter Road club, the two-times capped US forward’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the current MLS season and his club, Orlando City, had confirmed that he would be moving on.
"Chris was someone who was brought to our attention a number of months ago," said head coach Jack Ross. "We worked long and hard to make this deal happen.
"Chris is an exciting signing and his recent performances with Orlando have been terrific. He has a skillset that we think is going to be really well suited to Scotland.
"He can score goals and add creativity and he has an impressive mindset as both an athlete and a person.
"Chris' arrival is also an example of us widening our net. It is great to have another player join us with international experience. We also have the likes of Alex Gogic, Martin Boyle, Kevin Nisbet and Paul Hanlon who have been capped and Chris will add to that experience and squad depth."
‘Exceptional player with a knack for goal’
“I am very excited to have Chris Mueller join Hibs," added Hibs owner Ron Gordon. "He’s an exceptional player with a knack for goal.
"This signing speaks to our commitment to build and improve on last season. I know he will be an exciting addition to our very strong squad. I am confident he will become a fans' favourite.
"Most importantly, I’m delighted that Chris saw Hibs as the right club for him and the next step in his blossoming career.
"Lastly, a big thank you to the entire football department for all their diligent work on this signing and throughout this transfer window so far.”
A player who operates predominantly in a wide right position, but can also feature up top, Hibs have made no secret of their desire to add to the creative ranks.
Along with a centre-half, another forward has been high on the club’s shopping list. With Scotland international and last season’s top scorer Kevin Nisbet continuing to attract interest from a number of clubs, manager Ross had made it a priority to strengthen that department of his squad.
Mueller, who joined Orlando in 2018, and was runner up for MLS Rookie of the Year that season has made over 100 appearances for the club and scored 21 goals. He contributed 10 of those goals from 22 appearances in 2020.
An exciting and technically-gifted player, he has earned a reputation for manufacturing goals and providing a constant attacking edge.
An eye-catching talent, he was rewarded with his first USA caps last year and made the most of the opportunity, with two goals and an assist as he was named man of the match in a 6-0 rout of El Salvador.
This term he has made 13 appearances for Orlando, weighing in with two goals, four assists and can claim involvement in a third of all goals scored by the club so far in the season.