Hibs to sign British duo
Hibernians have concluded talks to sign two British players. Mark Miller, the Hibs coach, has given the club’s hierarchy the green light to recruit English defender Matthew Clarke and Scottish forward Paul McManus.
Valletta winger Doding Priso (right) is expected to join AEK Larnaca on a one-year loan deal.
Clarke, 29, is a towering centrehalf who was on the books of English League Two club Bradford City over the past four seasons.
The 27-year-old McManus, who spent the last three seasons with Scottish Second Division club East Fife, caught Miller’s eye when the Hibs coach visited the UK a few months ago to monitor a host of potential transfer targets.
The Paolites will have three, possibly four, new foreign players this season after they parted company with Uruguayan midfielder Christian Callejas, Portuguese striker Manuel Lopes de Pina and Elton Morellato, of Brazil.
Miller is known to be keen to refresh his squad after Hibs followed up their title-winning campaign in 2008/09 with a disappointing sixthplace finish last season.
The former Malta U-21 coach is looking for defensive reinforcements after Jonathan Caruana sealed his move to Valletta earlier this week. Aaron Xuereb, whose contract with Hibs expired at the end of last season, is attracting strong interest from Floriana. The two clubs have been discussing a playerexchange deal involving Xuereb and Nigerian-born midfielder Orosco Anonam.
Floriana have appointed Todor Raykov as their first-team coach. The Bulgarian takes over from Zoran Popovic who has been dismissed by the Greens despite having another year left on his contract.
Valletta are again taking a leading role in the transfer market. After agreeing a deal with Qormi to sign Brazilian defender Ramon on loan for one year, the Citizens also completed the signing of the highlyrated Caruana from Hibs. The Malta defender has inked a five-year deal with Valletta.
Tarxien’s Brazilian forward Denni is also on the verge of joining Valletta with right-back Justin Grioli moving in the opposite direction. Denni is expected to put pen to paper on a four-year contract with Valletta after he returns from Brazil next week.
Doding Priso is set for a reunion with Dutch coach Ton Caanen at AEK Larnaca. The Cypriot club, who have also appointed former Valletta midfielder Jordi Cruyff as their sports director, have reached a verbal agreement with the Citizens to sign the Cameroonian winger on loan for one year with an option of making his move permanent at the end of the season.
Omonigho Temile, the older brother of Frank Temile, is expected to replace Priso at Valletta. The Nigerian winger came on as a second-half substitute in Valletta’s 2-0 defeat to Sliema in the Euro Cup last Friday.
Cleaven Frendo is set to link up with Qormi as part of the deal that saw Ramon move to Valletta on loan. Flank defender Jonathan Bondin has also received Valletta’s go-ahead to extend his loan spell with Qormi by another season but midfielder Massimo Grima is unlikely to stay with the FA Trophy finalists.
Grima, who earned a recall to the national squad during his twoyear loan spell with Qormi, is being strongly linked with a move to Ħamrun Spartans who have also made an approach for Adrian Pulis. The latter’s contract with Hibs ran out at the end of last season.
Qormi, who recently named Stephen Azzopardi as their new coach, are interested in Birkirkara midfielder George Mallia.