MIDFIELDER Paul Cairney looks set to become one of Pat Fenlon’s first signings of the summer for Hibs.
The 24-year-old is out of the country on holiday at the moment but the Evening News understands he will meet with the Easter Road club on his return to put pen to paper.
Cairney was one of the stand-outs for Partick Thistle in the First Division campaign just ended and manager Jackie McNamara was keen to keep him at Firhill, offering him a new deal in January. However, he turned down their offer and his contract has now expired, leaving the way free for Fenlon to make his move.
The player was linked with Hibs at the tail-end of last season and if Fenlon does capture his signature, he will have beaten a number of other clubs. Aberdeen and St Johnstone are also believed to have been tracking Cariney’s progress, while Derby County kept tabs on him.
The midfielder netted 15 goals for The Jags in 2011/12 and his scoring record from midfield could prove vital for Hibs, who battled to avoid relegation last season. Fenlon, who has also been linked with Motherwell duo Tim Clancy and Steve Jennings and Carlisle’s Lubomir Michalik, has a sizeable rebuilding task ahead of him and is particularly keen to bolster his midfield following the departure of loan signings Tom Soares and George Francomb.