Marijan Čabraja: Hibs closing in on Croatian left-back as Josh Doig replacement
Hibs are closing in on the signing of Croatian left-back Marijan Čabraja, as the Easter Road side moves quickly to fill the gap left by Josh Doig’s expected departure to Hellas Verona.
Doig could finalise his move to the Serie A side this week, having been left out of the squad to face Clyde in the Premier Sports Cup opener at the weekend.
Manager Lee Johnson confirmed that there were ‘three or four’ players lined up as potential replacements for the 20-year-old defender, with Demi Mitchell still coming back from injury and veteran Lewis Stevenson, who played left-back on Saturday, turning 35 this season.
Doig has travelled to Italy to undergo a medical with the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi outfit ahead of his proposed move to Venetia and his departure will pave the way for Čabraja to join the Capital club.
The 25-year-old came through the youth system at Dinamo Zagreb and played more than 50 times for the club’s B team before joining league rivals Gorica on a free transfer in 2018, playing 80 times for the Stadion Radnik outfit and sealing a return to Dinamo in 2021.
Able to play anywhere on the left, Čabraja played ten times for the Prva HNL champions last season before falling out of favour and spending time on loan at Hungarian side Ferencvaros, where he played alongside former Hibs goalkeeper Adam Bogdan and faced Celtic in the Europa League, and Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia.
The player is due to travel to Edinburgh this week to complete his medical tests and finalise terms on a three-year deal.
Hibs will not pay Dinamo a fee for the player, who is under contract at the Stadion Maksimir until the summer of 2026, but the Croatian side will earn a percentage of any future transfer – similar to the deal Hibs struck with Benfica for winger Jair Tavares.
Pula-born Čabraja has been capped by his country at every level from under-14 to under-21, and featured for Croatia at the 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
He has shared a dressing room in the past with Rangers defender Nikola Katic, former Celtic centre-back Filip Benkovic, and West Ham attacker Nikola Vlasic.