Hibs boss Neil Lennon in talks to sign Celtic defender Efe Ambrose and Ashdod keeper Ofir Marciano

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Hibs head coach Neil Lennon admits he is hoping to convince both defender Efe Ambrose and goalkeeper Ofir Marciano to make permanent moves to Easter Road.

Celtic centre-half Ambrose helped the Leith club clinch the Championship title after joining on loan from Celtic in February and Lennon said the Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Month for March has proved he is a ‘class-act’.

Israeli international goalkeeper Ofir Marciano made 29 appearances during his season-long loan stint from Ashdod in his homeland.

(Pic: BT Sport)

Lennon has already re-signed captain David Gray, Darren McGregor, Lewis Stevenson, Marvin Bartley and Ross Laidlaw and recruited playmaker Danny Swanson from St Johnstone.

And the former Celtic manager admits he also wants Ambrose and Marciano for the team’s return to the Premiership.

He said: “We have already got Danny Swanson in, we have talks with Efe ongoing and hopefully we will get Ofir back.

“I think sometimes momentum is important going into a new season so on top of what we have we want to add some quality – watch this space.”

Lennon has also been linked with a host of names, including Kris Commons, who spent a month on loan at Hibs from Celtic, Anthony Stokes, Shaun Maloney, Steven Whittaker and Kelvin Wilson.

Asked about Commons and one-time Hoops defender Wilson, who has left Rotherham United, Lennon added: “I’m linked to every ex-Celtic player. The next one will be (Gary) Hooper and (Victor) Wanyama, but they are just out of my price range.”

Lennon, meanwhile, insists he plans to target a second place finish in the top-flight next season, but admits being able to sign the players he wants will be a big factor in whether the team can realise that aim.

Lennon, who watched Tueday’s Premiership play-off clash between Dundee United and Falkirk as an analyst for BT Sport, added: “That’s the intention.

“It’s important we keep momentum. What the players have shown over the last two years, particularly in the cup competitions when they’ve played against Premiership opposition they can certainly hold their own if not better.

“I think it depends how well we recruit.

“We’ve had a good look at Aberdeen this season, we’ve played Hearts over two games and they are teams who are there or thereabouts. I think Rangers will be stronger next season.

“Our challenge is first of all top six then can we progress from there but I want to finish best of the rest.”

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