Mixu ponders Hibs bid for Crewe star O'Connor

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HIBS boss Mixu Paatelainen today revealed he's on the track of Northern Ireland internationalist Michael O'Connor.

The 21-year-old Crewe Alexandra midfielder has been training with Paatelainen's squad at East Mains but will now return south, leaving Paatelainen to ponder his next move.

Belfast-born O'Connor was snapped up by Crewe at the age of 16 and was a member of their young team which reached the FA Youth Cup semi-finals in 2004.

A tough-tackling player, the 6ft 1in star has represented Northern Ireland at every level, winning the first of his two full caps at the end of last season and was named this week by boss Nigel Worthington for the B international against Scotland at Broadwood in a fortnight's time.

O'Connor, the subject of a failed 1million bid from Derby County last season, has fallen out of favour with new Crewe boss Gudjon Thordarson and has recently been on loan with Lincoln City although he's now returned to Grestey Road.

He's said to be available for a fee of 250,000 as he enters the final year of his contract with Crewe and Hibs are believed to be just one of a number of clubs north and south of the Border who have expressed an interest.

However, other than confirm O'Connor had been training with Hibs, Paatelainen today insisted that was as far as the matter had gone for the time being.

Paatelainen, who will spend this weekend taking in matches as he identifies further potential signing targets, said: "He's been with us but that's a weekly thing as we keep looking and he's just one of several we've seen.

"We'll make a decision when it's the right time to do so."

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