Hibs boss Neil Lennon has revealed he hopes to sign Lithuanian international midfielder Vykintas Slivka on a three-year deal.
The Easter Road club had been intending to take the 22-year-old on a season-long loan from Italian giants Juventus.
But now Slivka, who has won 19 caps for Lithuania and played in all of their current World Cup qualifying matches including the 1-1 draw with Scotland at Hampden, will agree a permanent contract.
Silvka was in the main stand at Easter Road last night, sitting alongside countryman Deivydas Matulevicius who has now gained international clearance to rubber stamp his two-year deal with Hibs, to watch Lennon’s side thump Arbroath 6-1 in the Betfred Cup.
Afterwards Lennon, who also revealed talks with Republic of Ireland striker Anthony Stokes are still ongoing, said: “Slivka will be a permanent contract rather than loan, three year if everything goes ahead but we are waiting for that to be confirmed.
“We think he is a decent player. It might take time for him to bed in but I think it is good business from our point of view and I hope he shows what he can do here.”
Slivka spent time on loan with Dutch side Den Bosch and then Serie B team Ascoli last season.
Asked why the mooted loan deal had been converted to a longer-term arrangement, Lennon said: “I think his contract was coming up and we liked the idea of a permanent deal.”
Lennon was delighted with his side’s performance against Arbroath as new striker Simon Murray scored a hat-trick, teenage defender got Ryan Porteous two and John McGinn netted one. However, he was disappointed with the equaliser conceded before Hibs swept their League One opponents aside. He said: “That sloppy goal was the only criticism of another very good performance.
“We were exceptional, good with ball, the tempo, the passing, the pace in team. We’d played well on Friday and I asked them to give me the same performance because that’s what good teams do regardless of who the opposition is.”
Lennon was happy in particular with the performance of Murray and 19-year-old Porteous. He said: “Simon misses the easy ones but scores the hard ones. I liked all his goals, the way he got across his marker for the first one. He deserves all he gets.
“Ryan did great. We know he is a work in progress but he is mature beyond his years. He’s very comfortable, strong in the air. It will be interesting to see him up against stiffer opposition but we know we have a fine player on our hands.”