Hibs sign up McGivern and clinch Nike kit deal

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ON-LOAN Manchester City defender Ryan McGivern has agreed a two-year deal to sign for Hibs permanently.

It is understood the Northern Ireland internationalist put pen to paper earlier this week in the wake of the Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic and will officially become a Hibs player on 1 July.

The 23-year-old, whose contract in Manchester expires on 30 June, has ignored interest from a handful of English Championship and League One sides, including Brentford, to pledge his future to Pat Fenlon’s side following a season-long loan from City.

McGivern made 32 appearances for Hibs, scoring once in February’s 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock, and some impressive performances, coupled with his ability to play at both left-back and centre-half, marked him out as a signing priority for Fenlon this summer. The player himself hinted at his intention to remain in the capital when he spoke after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Celtic, insisting: “We’ll go again next year, try to get back to Hampden and see if we can go one better.”

A pre-contract agreement had been on the table for McGivern for some time and the prospect of regular football, outings in the Europa League and the opportunity to keep himself in the thoughts of international manager – and former Hibs player – Michael O’Neill helped convince the Newry-born defender to stay in Edinburgh. A source close to the player said: “Ryan has enjoyed his time at Hibs. He has played in some big games, some high-profile games on TV, and has enjoyed getting the chance to play regular football at a good club. He had interest from down in England but he has decided the best move for him would be to stay with Hibs.”

McGivern is added to the pre-contract signing of St Johnstone’s Liam Craig for next season and they could be joined by Wales cap Owain Tudur Jones, who manager Terry Butcher has admitted looks likely to leave Inverness under freedom of contract this summer.

Meanwhile, Hibs have announced a four-year deal that will see Nike supply their new kit for next season, plus replica strips and training gear to be sold in a re-branded club store. The new contract, replacing the current four-year contract with Puma, will kick-off on 7 June with the launch of the team’s new home kit for next season.

Chairman Rod Petrie said: “Puma has served us well for four seasons, for which we thank them. Everyone at the club is excited about securing the number one global sportswear brand as our new technical partner for the next four years. We have worked very closely with Nike on the designs for next season and I am sure the new kits, merchandise and the new look Hibernian Nike Clubstore will be well received by our supporters.”