Donaldson set to leave Hibs for Crewe

OUT-OF-FAVOUR Hibs striker Clayton Donaldson was today poised to make his Easter Road exit after agreeing a deal with English League One outfit Crewe Alexandra.

A six-figure sum has been agreed for the 24-year-old's transfer which, it is understood, will finally be completed early next week after Donaldson agreed personal terms.

Donaldson arrived in Edinburgh as a free agent barely 12 months ago, ending a lengthy pursuit by former Hibs boss John Collins as he penned a three-year deal as he moved from York City.

While he initially enjoyed a measure of success, five of his six goals in a green and white shirt coming in a three-match run which included a hat-trick against Kilmarnock, Donaldson fell out of the picture after Mixu Paatelainen succeeded Collins in the Easter Road hot seat.

Thereafter Donaldson made only fleeting appearances, resulting in Paatelainen revealing he'd told the former Hull City, Harrogate, Scarborough and Halifax player he was free to find another club.

Crewe boss Steve Holland, having sold Nicky Maynard to Bristol City for 2 million, has been on Donaldson's trail for some time as have other English clubs but now the striker has settled on a move to Gresty Road.

Donaldson will be joined in heading for the exit door by Moroccan hitman Abdessalam Benjelloun who has agreed to join Belgian club Royal Charleroi on loan until January having also found himself falling down the pecking order.

However, contrary to other reports, Benji's move has not yet gone ahead as he requires a visa from Morocco before he can make the switch.

Paperwork also continues to threaten the hopes of Hibs fans seeing Paatelainen's latest signing, French ace Steve Pinau, making his debut in tomorrow's SPL match against Falkirk.

As the Evening News revealed yesterday, Hibs still haven't received international clearance for the 20-year-old who has joined on a season-long loan deal from Italian Serie A side Genoa.

The SFA are pursuing the issue with both the French and Italian football authorities, Pinau having moved from Monaco to Genoa only this summer but, increasingly, it looks unlikely Paatelainen will have the youngster at his disposal tomorrow.

That being the case, the burden of scoring the goals which have all but eluded Hibs thus far will again fall on Scotland striker Steven Fletcher and Colin Nish with Paatelainen imploring his hitmen to take any chances which fall their way tomorrow something the pair failed to do on the opening day of the season against Kilmarnock.

He said: "I was happy with our performance at Rugby Park, but we need goals. I'm looking for a similar display but with goals, simple as that.

"If we hit form we have every chance, we must be willing to defend and attack in the proper manner."