Hibernian manager Shaun Maloney confirmed he has been given licence to spend some of the transfer fee from the sale of Martin Boyle on a replacement for the influential Australia forward.
The 28-year-old joined Al-Faisaly last week for around £3million and some of that will be reinvested in an effort to replenish the Hibs attack – but only if the club can source someone of the required quality.
Maloney said: “The chairman (Ron Gordon) and the CEO (Ben Kensell) have been very clear on what would happen if Martin left.
“It has to be the right profile, the right person, and if that’s the case, then we will spend the money that’s needed to bring that person here. It has to be the right one though.
“All the work has to be done and I have to be very happy with who that is. When I decide, then we can spend it. If it’s this window, then brilliant. If not, we will wait until the summer.
“Martin will be missed on the park and off it but that’s football. We love what he’s done for this club and we hope he has an amazing time in his new venture but now we have to move forward. We have to find a solution to replace the attributes he had.”
Demetri Mitchell became the latest new arrival at Easter Road when the 25-year-old former Manchester United player signed from Blackpool on Monday.
Maloney said: “Demi was one I focused on very soon after coming here because of his attributes. He can play on both wings, winger, wing-back or even in the number 10 position. He’s got attributes we needed in the squad.
“There was a big push from Demi himself to make it happen. He’s ready to play although he hasn’t trained for a week so we’ll have to be careful with him.”
Norwegian striker Elias Melkersen has been granted a work permit after signing for the club earlier this month, although Maloney plans to bed the 19-year-old in gently.
He said: “Elias played in a practice match on Monday. We’ll build him up because he’s a player we have to develop and let him adapt to the league, so hopefully in the next few weeks he’ll become available for the first-team squad.”
Maloney is hoping to leapfrog a cinch Premiership rival for the third time since becoming Hibs manager last month as victory at Motherwell on Wednesday will take them up to fourth place.
He said: “It feels very similar to recent games because we know if we win it we can move ahead of our opponents.
“Dundee United were ahead of us and we beat them to go ahead of them, and Aberdeen were ahead of us and we beat them to go ahead of them.
“We’ll have that same feeling going into the Motherwell game but it’s a hard game because they’re good at attacking, really quick, and they’re good at set-plays.”
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