Paul Cairney clinches dream move to Hibernian

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HIBERNIAN yesterday snapped up Partick Thistle midfielder Paul Cairney on a two-year deal, as it emerged they have enquired about the possibility of re-signing former midfielder Dean Shiels.

Cairney became manager Pat Fenlon’s third recruit of the summer, following Motherwell defender Tim Clancy and last season’s on-loan skipper James McPake in moving to the capital.

Fenlon yesterday hailed Cairney’s attacking abilities as he expressed delight at landing another of his signing targets. But, after narrowly avoiding relegation last season, the Irishman has confessed he is eager to add more new faces to his revamped squad.

It is understood that the availability of Shiels, who is out of contract following a season playing under father Kenny at Kilmarnock, has been discussed at Easter Road in recent weeks after the 27-year-old turned in a series of impressive displays last term. However, with no formal talks having taken place, the Northern Ireland internationalist’s future may lie abroad if he does decide to disappoint his dad and move on from Rugby Park and pursue more lucrative options in the coming weeks.

Whatever happens with Shiels, Cairney is hopeful of proving himself capable of making the step up to the SPL after four years with Partick Thistle. The 24-year-old began his career with Queen’s Park and caught the eye with 12 goals from midfield for Thistle last season.

He said: “It’s absolutely amazing to sign for Hibernian – it’s definitely the highlight of my career so far. But this is just the start of it all. Now I want to show the Hibs fans what I’m all about by working hard and playing my part in helping the team to achieve success.”

Fenlon said: “Paul is a player who has been on our radar for a while now and we’re delighted to be able to add him to the squad for the new season. He will offer us something different – he is a midfielder who likes to get forward and is always looking to spark a game into life.”