Hibs closing on striker James Collins

James Collins. Picture: Getty
James Collins. Picture: Getty
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Hibs manager Pat Fenlon was today closing in on a second striker after reportedly having a £200,000 bid accepted for Swindon Town striker James Collins.

After losing Leigh Griffiths, who returned to League One Wolves after almost two years on loan at Easter Road, and Eoin Doyle, who joined League Two club Chesterfield, the pair having scored 39 goals between them last season, Fenlon moved to fill the gap left by signing Rowan Vine following his release from St Johnstone, but with only teenager Ross Caldwell as back-up, Fenlon has been keen to strengthen his strikeforce, having failed in a bid to persuade Wolves to part with Griffiths on a permanent basis.

Collins has attracted a lot of interest this summer with Championship side Huddersfield having been linked with a move for the hitman, who scored 18 times for the Robins last season – a tally which included four after coming on as a substitute against Portsmouth in January – despite not being first choice under

either Paolo di Canio or his successor Kevin McDonald. The 22-year-old began his career at Aston Villa and was once on the radar of then-Aberdeen boss Mark McGhee, turning out in a trial match for the Dons,

before moving on to Shrewsbury where he shocked

Arsenal by hitting the opener in a League Cup tie at the Emirates before his side went down 3-1. After signing for Swindon, he notched a hat-trick as Stoke were sent spinning out of last season’s League Cup. Although born in Coventry, Collins is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland. However, if Collins were to sign in the next few days he’d be unable to feature in Thursday night’s Europa League match against Malmo as he wasn’t a Hibs player at the time of the first leg of the second qualifying round.