Hibs are fighting it out with a clutch of other European clubs – two of which are from the Netherlands – for the signature of Darmstadt striker Jamie Maclaren.
Hibs are keen to bring the player back to Easter Road for a second spell following a successful loan stint during the latter half of last season.
Maclaren netted eight goals in 15 games in his spell at Easter Road and earned a place in Australia’s World Cup squad on the back of his performances in green-and-white.
Reports on Tuesday morning claimed Neil Lennon’s side had missed their chance, with the 25-year-old said to be heading back to his native Australia to sign for Melbourne Victory.
However, while Maclaren’s hometown side made a lucrative offer, along with fellow A-League outfit Sydney FC, they have not managed to tie down a deal for the Australian international. The option to move down under remains on the table, although the Evening News understands remaining Europe is more likely.
Hibs still have a strong chance of landing Maclaren – who enjoyed his spell in Edinburgh and holds Hibs in high regard – but do face competition from other teams on the continent.
Maclaren would have been a free agent this summer had Darmstadt, who sat second bottom of Bundesliga 2 in late April, been relegated to the third tier of German football at the end of the last campaign.
However, the Lillies won their last three games to finish three points ahead of the drop zone.
Despite the miraculous recovery, the striker sees his future away from the second tier of German football and his next move will almost certainly be a permanent transfer rather than a loan.
He said in May: “I don’t want to go back to Germany. I don’t want to stay there but I have a contract until 2020.
“The club own me so I will have to see what happens. If they ask me, I will tell them to listen to offers because I don’t want to go back.”