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St Mirren ‘reluctantly agreed a deal’ with Hibernian for skipper Kyle Magennis

Celtic v St Mirren – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

St Mirren say they “reluctantly” agreed to allow Kyle Magennis to join Hibernian after the Buddies club captain made it clear he wanted to reunite with Jack Ross at Easter Road.

The Scotland Under-21 midfielder has signed a five-year deal with the Leith outfit after Saints accepted an improved six-figure offer from Hibs.

But the decision to sell their skipper left Buddies boss Jim Goodwin infuriated.

It was only last week that the Irishman praised the Paisley board’s bravery in rejecting Hibs’ opening offer as he insisted the academy graduate would command a much higher valuation in the months ahead once he makes his return after a serious knee injury suffered at Ibrox back in January.

Goodwin has now seen hopes of tying Magennis down on a new four-year deal dashed with the news his move along the M8 has gone through three days after the 22-year-old was spotted in the stands at Easter Road watching his new team-mates beat Hamilton.

But the Buddies board have explained their decision to sell, insisting Magennis clearly indicated he wanted the opportunity to again link up Ross, who was St Mirren boss when he made his first-team debut back in 2016.

They said in a statement: “The club can confirm that it has today reluctantly agreed a deal with Hibernian for the transfer of Kyle Magennis.

“The club had been working for over a year on a new deal for Kyle and offered him a new four-year deal on improved terms, however, it became increasingly clear that Kyle saw his future away from St Mirren.

“After the initial approaches from Hibernian were rejected, Kyle made it clear to the club his desire to move. With this in mind the club made the difficult decision to accept an improved offer and allow Kyle to move.

“The club shares the disappointment that the fans and all connected with St Mirren will be feeling with this news.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Kyle for all the contributions he made in his time at St Mirren and wish him the very best for his future.”

Magennis was a key figure under Ross as Saints won promotion back to the Premiership two years ago.

And he says he is looking forward to working with the Hibs boss once again.

He said: “Everyone knows what St Mirren means to me as a club – in terms of giving me an opportunity to begin with and my overall development – but this was a challenge that excited me and that I really wanted to take on.

“I know what the gaffer and the coaching staff expect, and they know how to get the best out of me.”

Ross added: “Kyle is young, hungry, can play in a number of positions and has plenty room for improvement. Importantly, he is someone who wants to improve.

“He’s someone who has shown leadership qualities from an early age. You can never have too many of those types.”