Hibernian were last night putting the finishing touches to a loan move for Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore.
The 19-year-old is expected to be unveiled by the Easter Road outfit today, joining Notts County striker Danny Haynes in beefing up Terry Butcher’s squad for the remainder of the campaign.
Haynes was made available for transfer by County manager Shaun Derry earlier this month and travelled up to Edinburgh on Wednesday in a bid to kick-start a career that has taken him from Ipswich Town to Bristol City, Barnsley and Charlton. The former England under-19 cap is understood to be relishing the prospect of working with Butcher, his country’s legendary former captain, and the same is likely for compatriot Watmore.
Like Haynes, Watmore is a lightning-quick attacker and is expected to give Butcher more options going forward, an area in which Hibs have struggled this season, having scored just 21 goals in 24 games – the joint-lowest tally in the Premiership with Partick Thistle.
Watmore began his career with Conference North outfit Altrincham before earning a dream switch to Sunderland last summer after netting 14 times in 29 league appearances.
The teenager, the son of former Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore, made his first-team debut for the Black Cats earlier this month in the 3-1 win over Carlisle United in the FA Cup but has now had his loan departure sanctioned by manager Gus Poyet.
Getting deals over the line for Haynes and Watmore without any last-minute hitches, and potentially recruiting at least another new face, will ease the frustration felt so far by Butcher during the transfer window.
Former Motherwell winger Jamie Murphy was one high-profile target whose form for Sheffield United denied Hibs the chance to move, whilst Butcher has bemoaned injuries and changes of management at other English clubs that have scuppered further potential deals.