Hibs transfer news: Waiting game likely to be required for Stephane Omeonga
The future of Hibs fans’ favourite Stephane Omeonga is unlikely to be resolved until after the midfielder’s participation in the Under-21 European Championship comes to an end.
The 23-year-old Genoa player made a big impact during his loan spell at Easter Road in the second half of the season just finished after joining in January. Paul Heckingbottom intimated that Hibs would be keen to bring the Belgian back to Edinburgh if a deal could be struck, while Omeonga enjoyed his time in the Capital and would be open to discussions about the possibility of returning for next season.
The former Avellino player has struggled to make an impact at Genoa, who would be willing to offload him if they receive an acceptable offer. Omeonga is currently with the Belgium Under-21 squad preparing for the European Championship in Italy, where he will have the chance to showcase himself to potential suitors. He played the second half of a 3-0 friendly defeat by France, as pictured above, in Le Mans on Monday.
Belgium’s first game of the tournament is against Poland a week on Sunday, with their final group game a week later, against the host nation, on 22 June. Omeonga and his national team could remain in Italy until the last day of June if they make it to the final. Sources close to the player have indicated to the Evening News that no decision will be taken on his future at least until his involvement in the tournament is over.
Heckingbottom said recently that in an ideal world he would like to get the bulk of his recruitment done before the squad check back in for pre-season on 20 June, but a waiting game also looks likely to be required with regard to Marc McNulty, the other player who made a significant impact at Hibs after joining on loan in January. The Reading striker is currently with the Scotland squad preparing for this weekend’s Euro 2020 double-header against Cyprus and Belgium after earning international recognition on the back of his fruitful spell at Easter Road.
Hibs would be keen recruit McNulty once more if there was any possibility, and the Edinburgh-born striker has made no secret of his desire to return to his home city on a longer-term basis after his move to the Royals last summer turned sour. Reading are keen to offload McNulty but would prefer to recoup some of the £1 million they paid to sign him from Coventry City a year ago.
In addition to their two loan stars of last season, Hibs, who last week signed defender Adam Jackson from Barnsley, have this week been linked with 27-year-old winger Connor Jennings, whose contract with Tranmere Rovers expires this month.