BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
HIBS have beaten Edinburgh rivals Hearts to the capture of Australia internationalist Jamie Maclaren.
SV Darmstadt manager Dirk Schuster has confirmed that the 24-year-old striker has agreed a loan deal with Neil Lennon’s side until the end of the season.
Maclaren has made just eight appearances for the 2.Bundesliga outfit since joining from Brisbane Roar last summer and Schuster is sympathetic to his need for first-team football ahead of the World Cup.
Maclaren’s signing is likely to be officially announced within 24 hours and he will begin training at their winter training camp in the Algarve this week. Ironically, he could make his debut against the Jambos at Tynecastle on January 21.
“Jamie has agreed a contract with Hibs to join on loan,” Schuster told Bild. “I hope this is the decisive step he is hoping for.
“He is determined to draw attention to himself and make an impact for Australia ahead of the World Cup in Russia. Hopefully he achieves that, does well for them at the World Cup and returns to us a better player for next season.”
It is understood Maclaren, who boasts five senior caps, held discussions with Hearts boss Craig Levein during a visit to Edinburgh in December, however a deal could not be struck and the Hibees swiftly made their interest known.
The Jambos, who will bank in the region of £300,000 this week when Jamie Walker completes his move to Wigan, are now actively pursuing other attacking options.
Maclaren, who turned out for Scotland at under-19 level prior to committing to the Socceroos, is contracted to Darmstadt until 2020.