Hibs have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Australian international striker Jamie Maclaren on loan from German club Darmstadt 98.
The 24-year-old had held talks with Capital rivals Hearts about a move to Tynecastle Park, but it is understood that Hibs head coach Neil Lennon is closer to securing a deal for Maclaren until the end of the season.
Maclaren joined the Bundesliga II outfit last July, but has found his game time limited in Germany and is keen to play regularly so that he can force his way into contention for Australia’s World Cup squad this summer. According to reports in Germany, the former Brisbane Roar player has been left out of Darmstadt’s winter training camp and is in final negotiations with another club.
Both Lennon and Hearts manager Craig Levein are in the market for forwards during this transfer window as they look to enhance their challenge for European qualification. The two teams also begin their Scottish Cup campaign against each other in Gorgie on January 21.
Melbourne-born Maclaren, a former Scotland under-19 international, started his career in England with Blackburn Rovers before moving back to his homeland with Perth Glory in 2013. He then joined Brisbane, where he scored 40 goals in 53 appearances before quitting the A-League to join Darmstadt.