Hibs closing in on Harry Clarke deal as host of clubs keep tabs on Easter Road forward's situation
Hibs are adding the finishing touches to a loan deal for Harry Clarke with the Arsenal defender on the verge of being confirmed as Shaun Maloney’s first signing of the January transfer window.
The 20-year-old underwent a medical with the Easter Road side on Tuesday and is set to be unveiled on a long-term loan deal on Wednesday.
Clarke spent the first half of the Scottish Premiership season with Ross County but was recalled by the Gunners at the start of this week ahead of a proposed move to Edinburgh.
He had been operating at both centre-back and right-back for the Staggies and chipped in with three goals and two assists from 17 appearances for Malky Mackay’s side.
Hibs had prioritised the recruitment of a defender and a striker some months ago after failing to bring in adequate reinforcements in the summer.
England Under-20 captain Nathan Wood did join on a season-long loan from Middlesbrough but played just once before his temporary stint was ended early, returning to Boro in December.
With Ryan Porteous and potentially Paul McGinn missing matches this month, a need for more defensive options became vital for the Capital club in the short- and long-term.
Hibs also remain hopeful of finalising deals for highly-rated Bodø/Glimt forward Elias Hoff Melkersen and Celtic midfielder Ewan Henderson as Maloney shapes his squad for the second half of the season.
Meanwhile, a number of clubs are understood to be keeping a close eye on Stevie Bradley’s situation.
The winger featured for Hibs in pre-season, scoring against Raith Rovers in Iain Davidson’s testimonial match at Stark’s Park and hitting the post in the 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Easter Road.
Bradley penned a new deal with the Capital club in August before heading out on loan to Somerset Park but was recalled in early January, despite Ayr’s hopes of holding onto the youngster after he hit two goal and three assists in 15 games for the Honest Men.
Maloney is expected to run the rule over the 19-year-old during the next couple of weeks before making a decision on whether to let him head out on loan again for the second half of the season, or keep him in his first-team plans at Easter Road.