Hibs close in on Elias Melkersen and Celtic's Ewan Henderson - with chequebook opened for Norwegian striker

Hibs are not expected to ease off the throttle as they look to conclude more signings early in the January transfer window.

Ewan Henderson is set for a move from Celtic to Hibs.
Ewan Henderson is set for a move from Celtic to Hibs.

Looking to wrap up the loan acquisition of Arsenal youngster Harry Clarke within the next 24 hours, the Leith club hope Elias Melkersen and Ewan Henderson will quickly follow suit.

It is understood that both are being lined up and are expected to put pen to paper within the next few days.

According to sources, it will signal serious intent as the Norwegian striker comes with a sizable price tag. Speculation suggests the asking price for the 19-year-old is around £350,000 but it is believed that Hibs have had to significantly exceed that valuation to land their man.

But they believe the promising teenager is a solid long-term investment.

One of the players identified by owner Ron Gordon’s son Ian, who is the club’s head of recruitment, the Bodo/Glimt forward, who has been on loan at Norwegian second-tier side Ranheim, has also gained the approval of new manager Shaun Maloney, with the club hopeful of concluding the deal within the next two or three days.

A Norwegian Under-20s cap, he has scored two in three games for his country. He has also scored 17 goals in 26 club appearances this term and while he will offer immediate strength and depth to the Leith strikeforce, he also fits the club’s blueprint, which focuses on bringing in fresh legs and ambitious young players who can grow and add value to the team and themselves.

Ewan Henderson is another who fits that profile and it is understood that the capital club is closing in on an agreement with Celtic to bring the 21-year-old brother of 2016 Scottish Cup hero Liam along the M8.

Out of contract at Celtic Park in the summer, he has been told he is free to move on, and clubs in Italy, where his brother currently plays for Serie A side Empoli, have expressed interest but, Hibs look set to win the battle for the player Maloney previously coached while part of the Glasgow club’s youth set up.

Identifying him primarily as a No 10, he has the drive and ingenuity to help unlock defences, further enhancing Hibs’ attacking options and they look to improve on their form from the first half of the league season.

But, it is unlikely the ins and outs will end there. Alex Gogic has already been informed he is free to leave and he will not be the last, while the club are keen to add further depth in defence, well aware of the fixture demands facing every team in the top tier when play resumes.

And, with Hibs back in training today after a short festive break, there is a desire to get the new signings in as swiftly as possible, affording Maloney time to work with them and help them gel with colleagues ahead of the return to competitive action on January 17.

Having moved up the fifth place with two wins in their final two games ahead of the earlier than planned winter shutdown, the Scottish Premiership side are keen to make an immediate impact on the second half of the league campaign as they target the European qualification spots.