Hibs sign two players after deadline but third Harry McKirdy deal needs FIFA approval

Hibs hope to have finally wrapped up a deal to sign Swindon Town striker Harry McKirdy on a three-year contract but the deal is subject to FIFA approval.

Hibs hope they will get FIFA approval for the transfer of Harry McKirdy from Swindon Town.
Hibs hope they will get FIFA approval for the transfer of Harry McKirdy from Swindon Town.

At the end of a busy day, Hibs lodged their paperwork with 15 minutes to spare but it is understood that the League Two side were slightly late with their submissions, meaning the player and the Leith club must now wait for the green light from the footballing governing body.

On a day when Hibs also got a loan deal for Manchester United’s WIll Fish over the line and brought in Ukranian striker Mykola Kukharevych until the end of the current campaign, 25-year-old McKirdy was probably of the Easter Road club’s primary target.

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As the final day of the transfer window opened with a verbal agreement in place between the clubs and the player, and a medical ear-marked for the afternoon, matters were expected to be tied up well before the midnight cut-off point.

Man Utd's Will Fish has joined Hibs on loan.
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But there were unexpected glitches as talks faltered and terms changed and at one stage the switch was in jeopardy. But an 11th hour revival saw the player’s move north finalised.

Hibs boss Lee Johnson had been keen to increase his attacking options after Christian Doidge was loaned out to Premiership rivals Kilmarnock.

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That transfer freed up money for a new striker and, with a few targets, including McKirdy and QPR front man Macauley Bonne, the club worked to replace him with someone deemed more in sync with the manager’s preferred style of play.

A deal which has been weeks in the making, McKirdy was always the favoured pick.

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Mykola Kukharevych has joined Hibs on loan from Troyes.

The Swindon striker grabbed two goals in his first five games of the season but his contract was due to expire at the end of the season, making him a more affordable option.

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The hot-headed forward has been a long-time target of Johnson, impressing with 25 goals and 10 assists since arriving at the County Ground from Port Vale last season and the Hibs gaffer was not put off by his recent bad behaviour, described as “aggressive and improper” by the FA.

Following a sending off against Salford City in the middle of August, the Englishman stormed into the officials changing room and threw a protein shake at the wall, splashing the referee and assistants' clothes. That earned him a three match ban and a £1500 fine.

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He has served two thirds of that ban but will have to sit out another match after he signs for Hibs, although that ban does not kick in until 14 days after he is registered.

Manager Lee Johnson said: “We’re excited to bring Harry to Hibernian FC, and we’re delighted that he chose to come here after interest from several different clubs.

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“Everyone can see how well he’s been performing over the last 12-months or so and he’s a player that’s coming into the prime years of his career.

“He’s someone that shows his pitch personality and has a real desire to keep on improving. Alongside this, he also gives us extra options in the forward areas being able to play centrally and out wide. We can’t wait to get started with him.”

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In a hectic final hour, the club also secured the services of Manchester United’s teenage defender Will Fish.

The 19-year-old centre-back heads to Leith on a season-long loan and has been brought in to provide competition in the backline, after Rocky Bushiri picked up a training ground injury which could rule him out of action for up to two months.

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The club had been linked with Southampton’s Dynel Simeu but interest in the 20-year-old, who had been on loan at Carlisle United last term dwindled throughout the day as it became clear that the Old Trafford starlet was available.

The 19-year-old, who made his debut for the English Premier giants in 2021 and has captained England up to U-19 level, will now come into first team reckoning for Hibs’ match against Kilmarnock this weekend.

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That match will likely come too soon for their Ukranian acquisition.

Kukharevych.

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The U21 international has signed up on a season-long loan deal from French Ligue 1 side ES Troyes AC, subject to international clearance and work permit approval.