Former Hibs midfielder Stephane Omeonga joins Cercle Brugge
Stephane Omeonga has joined Belgian side Cercle Brugge on a season-long loan, ending any lingering hopes he might return to Hibs.
The Genoa midfielder had been keen to come back to Easter Road, but head coach Paul Heckingbottom admitted last week that it was unlikely Omeonga and fellow loanee Marc McNulty would return to the club as a result of their performances during their temporary stints in the Capital.
Heckingbottom told the Evening News last week: “Stephane’s club are getting offers more than we could match, loan and permanent.
"Stephane is still keen to come here and we were keen to get him. But it’s too big a gap.
"We’ve been a victim of our own success with those two. If they had come here and been garbage, we could have afforded them.
"But they came in, did great and made it really difficult for us to get them.”
Omeonga, who featured for Belgium in the Under-21 World Cup earlier this summer, played 17 times for Hibs, winning over the fans with his wholehearted performances on the pitch and piano skills off it.
Cercle Brugge, who compete in the Belgian top flight - the First Division A - have an option to buy the 23-year-old if the loan is a success.
The club's sporting director Francois Vitali said: "We are pleased the announce the arrival of Stephane Omeonga.
"Our ambition is to attract young, talented players and Stephane has, despite his age, already gained a lot of experience in Italy, Scotland and the national team's Under-21 side.
"Cercle Brugge is an ideal place for him to further develop his attacking talents."