Hibs close in on Norwegian defender Niklas Gunnarsson as Alan Stubbs seeks to strengthen squad



Hibernian are set to snap up Norwegian Niklas Gunnarsson on loan after head coach Alan Stubbs revealed he aims to have a new defender signed in time for Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie with Raith Rovers.

The Easter Road boss is eager to boost his squad this month and, ahead of the transfer window opening, identified a need to strengthen in both attack and defence.

(Pic: Andy1916)
(Pic: Andy1916)

Chris Dagnall, the former Leyton Orient, Barnsley and Rochdale striker, has already been recruited on a short-term deal.

And, keen to complete his business as early as possible, Stubbs is poised to make another signing.

It expected that Gunnarsson is the man Stubbs will add to his squad, as early as today.

The 24-year-old, who had a spell as a youth with Walsall, is a Norway under-23 cap and is renowned for his long throw-ins and attacking play from full-back.

The son of former Faroe Islands manager Ronny Gunnarsson, the defender is currently contracted to Valerenga and had a loan spell with Elfsborg in Sweden last year.

Very quickly

The Hibs boss said: “We are hoping to do something very, very quickly on the defender front.

“It may be over the next few days, it may be over the next week.

“But we are looking to do something very quickly.”

Meanwhile, Stubbs is also optimistic of being able to include Dagnall in his squad for the cup trip to face Raith at Stark’s Park.

The 29-year-old missed out on a possible debut against the Kirkcaldy club in Saturday’s league encounter after the completion of his move to Hibs was held up by red tape.

However, the Championship challengers are hopeful of resolving an issue with documentation arriving from India, where the Liverpool-born marksman last played with Kerala Blasters.

Stubbs added: “We are just waiting on one piece of paperwork from India.

“That should be cleared up in the next day or two, we are at the very end of it.”