Hibs have confirmed the signing of Australian internationalist Mark Milligan on a two-year contract.
The 33-year-old became Easter Road head coach Neil Lennon’s eighth signing of the summer, joining his countryman Jamie Maclaren at the Edinburgh club.
Milligan, a midfielder who can also operate in the centre of defence, has won 71 caps for his country and played in all three of Australia’s World Cup matches in Russia.
His arrival, however, is no knee-jerk reaction to the news that Marvin Bartley will be out of action for up to two months after sustaining a hamstring injury in Hibs Europa League defeat by Norwegian outfit Molde in midweek.
Milligan, who was most recently at Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli having joined them from Melbourne Victory, has been on Lennon’s radar for some time and only last month revealed he had turned down an approach from Hibs.
At that time he was quoted as saying: “I would have loved to have gone and played in Scotland but it was a little bit tough (to agree a wage structure).”
Hibs, though, have continued to pursue his signature and have clinched the deal subject to a work permit which means Milligan won’t feature in tomorrow’s BetFred Cup tie against Ross County.
Milligan said: “I am delighted to have joined Hibernian. I know it is a big club with an exciting young squad, and I hope to be able to add to that with my experience.
“Jamie obviously did well here last year and gave Hibs a bit of a profile back home - everyone there is pretty familiar with the Scottish game and I’m excited to now be part of that.”
Milligan has long held an ambition to play in Britain, the way for a move opening up as Australia’s world ranking improved to 44th in the past 12 months meaning that as someone who had played in 75 per cent of the Socceroos during that period he could now be considered for a work permit.
Meanwhile, Hibs have finally secured a work permit for Manchester City’s Ghana internationalist Thomas Agyepong who has joined on a year-long loan agreement, clearing the way for the 21-year-old to feature in tomorrow’s match at Easter Road.