Hibs sign Kevin Thomson and Rowan Vine

HIBS have secured a double signing ahead of their Europa League campaign, snapping up Kevin Thomson for a third spell at the club and former St Johnstone front-man Rowan Vine.

Kevin Thomson in action for Hibs in the 2013 Scottish Cup final. Picture: Jane Barlow

Thomson, 28, has been training with the Edinburgh club throughout the summer and says he turned down lucrative offers south of the Border to stay at Easter Road.

The former Rangers midfielder captained Hibs after emerging through the club’s youth system, eventually leaving for Ibrox in acrimonious circumstances in 2007.

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An injury-hit two-and-a-half years followed at Middlesbrough before he agreed to return to Leith in March – playing for free – and featuring in the Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic.

Thomson said: “There were other offers from clubs down south, but I knocked them back because I had my mind set on staying with Hibs. I’ve really enjoyed pre-season so far and playing in the friendly in Gibraltar.

“We’ve got a good group of boys here and I want to play my part in helping to drive the club forward.”

Vine, 30, becomes the second former Saints player to join Hibs this summer, following midfielder Liam Craig from McDiarmid Park.

The gifted striker, who has also turned out for the likes of Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City, scored seven goals in 37 games for the Perth side last term, albeit he spent much of the season playing as a winger.

Vine said: “I’m delighted to sign for Hibs – I’ve spent the past few days training at the club and I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it.

“As soon as the opportunity came up, I wanted to take it because it’s clear to me this is a club heading in the right direction and I want to be part of it.

“I enjoyed playing in Scotland last season and when my time at St Johnstone came to an end I was keen to stay in the league.”

Both players were signed by the 11pm Europa League second qualifying round deadline on Friday, so are eligible – and likely – to start against Malmo in Sweden on Thursday.

Hibs manager Pat Fenlon said: “Throughout the summer, we have worked hard to identify and recruit the right players for Hibs, so we could strengthen the squad and move forward. Both Kevin and Rowan are exactly what we need – quality players with plenty of experience.”