Hibs end bid for Scunthorpe's Funso Ojo pursuit but close on Preston's Chris Maxwell

Chris Maxwelland Funso Ojo
Chris Maxwell is poised to join Hibs, but Funso Ojo is staying at Scunthorpe

Hibernian have pulled out of a move for Scunthorpe United midfielder Funso Ojo but are close to securing Preston North End goalkeeper Chris Maxwell on loan.

South Africa striker Ryan Moon has also arrived on trial after his release by Kaizer Chiefs.

But head coach Paul Heckingbottom is less hopeful of securing a return for Marc McNulty and Stephane Omeonga, who both impressed on loan last season.

"We know we want them, but it's really difficult to get them done," he said.

Striker McNulty, the 26-year-old who made his Scotland debut in March, scored eight goals in 17 games for Hibs.

Belgian midfielder Omeonga, 23, played 21 times for the Scottish Premiership side on loan from Genoa but, like McNulty, is under contract to his parent club until summer 2022.

"There was no way we were paying the original asking price," Heckingbottom said of the duo. "We had to wait to see if we can get them on loan, but there comes a point where you have to get on with your own business, so we went down another route.

"If the opportunity comes further down the line then they will definitely look to do something."

Hibs have already made five new signings in Heckingbottom's first transfer window in charge, but they are unlikely to be joined by 27-year-old Ojo, the Belgian who was a regular starter for Scunthorpe in League One last season.

"There is nothing we can do - the Ojo deal is dead," Heckingbottom said.

"We like the player and we tried to take advantage of a clause in his contract where he could leave on a free with them getting relegated.

"He wanted to come, so we spoke with Scunthorpe and we believed we could get it done. Then they changed their mind, backtracked and made it really difficult."

However, Higgingbottom is "hopeful" that a loan deal for goalkeeper Maxwell will be "done sooner rather than later".

The 28-year-old Welshman played 11 times for Championship outfit Preston at the start of last season but failed to make an appearance for Charlton Athletic in League One after being loaned out in January.

Moon, who has two caps for his country but failed to score in 17 outings for Kaizer Chiefs last season, could also be offered a contract should he impress on trial after the South African club decided against triggering a one-year extension to the 22-year-old's contract.

Heckingbottom also revealed that he is still looking to bring in a holding midfielder - "someone who can pass out from the back and reacts well when we lose the ball"- following the release of Australia captain Mark Milligan.

Top Stories