Juventus midfielder Vykintas Slivka agrees to sign as Neil Lennon tells Anthony Stokes that Hibs can revive ex-Celtic striker’s career

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NEIL LENNON has revealed Hibs have agreed a deal to sign Juventus midfielder Vykintas Slivka on a season-long loan – and has told Anthony Stokes he is the man to revive the striker’s career.

Slivka, a Lithuania internationalist who set up Fedor Cernych’s goal in the 1-1 draw against Scotland at Hampden in October last year, flew in for talks at the weekend and has told the Easter Road outfit he wants to join them.

Lennon is now awaiting the completion of paperwork at the Italian giants to make the 22-year-old his seventh signing of the summer.

The Nothern Irishman said: “He is here. We are waiting for clearance from Juventus now to get the deal completed.

“He is in the building, but he can’t train, so we have to take care of that. He is just doing some fitness work and some physical work at the minute.

“He wants to come here. Tactically, he is very good. He is athletic, two-footed and has an eye for a goal. He covers the ground very well and looks very composed on the ball.

“It is what Juventus do to bring on young players. They have a catalogue of young players and they put them out on loan. The opportunity came along and we liked the look of what we saw.”

No footage would have been needed for Lennon to decide on a move for Stokes.

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The former Celtic marksman is a free agent after securing his release from an unhappy spell at Blackburn Rovers and has been made what Lennon has branded a ‘very, very good offer’ to return to Hibs for a third spell.

His last stint at the club, on loan from Parkhead two seasons ago, concluded with a stunning display and brace in helping the capital outfit finally land the Scottish Cup last May.

And Lennon, who is confident Kris Commons will sign when he proves his fitness after a back operation, is convinced that he and the Easter Road side would again be the perfect fit for the 28-year-old.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s Betfred Cup tie with Arbroath, he added: “We have left it with Anthony. It is his decision. We’re certainly not holding a gun to his head, at the minute – although I might eventually if he doesn’t hurry up!

“If I was him, I would be coming here.

“He’s knows he’s a hero after the Scottish Cup final and he knows the management team and the majority of the players. He knows we can get the best out of him.

“At this juncture of his career, I think he needs to play, and play for a club that wants him here and for a manager who knows him inside out, and who can deal with all his little issues, because we’ve all had them!

“If you look at his performance in the cup final, that is 14 months ago now, but it shows he’s a big-game player and he likes the big games. It really floats his boat.

“Coming here, there would be plenty of big games to get his teeth in to. Whether he would get that pressurised situation going somewhere else, I don’t know.

“He’s happy here. He was pretty happy at Celtic as well. Certainly in Scotland, he’s at his happiest.

“He needs to get back to playing. He’s well out of the Republic of Ireland fold now. Possibly he could come again for that but he needs to find the right environment.”

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