HIBERNIAN narrowly failed in a daring bid to bring Scottish Cup hero Liam Henderson back to Easter Road.
Representatives from the capital club held advanced discussions with Serie A outfit Hellas Verona this week as they sought to snap up the ex-Celtic playmaker for the remainder of the campaign.
Positives talks were also held with Henderson, who retains a strong affinity with the club after making 49 appearances during the 2015/16 campaign.
Henderson’s arrival would have been in addition to Friday night’s loan capture of Stephane Omeonga and it is understood Hibs chiefs were confident of getting a deal over the line.
However, the 23-year-old ultimately decided he wanted to continue plying his trade in Italy, allowing Empoli to pip the Hibees to his signing.
The Serie B cracks have the option to make the move permanent in June.
Henderson, who has enjoyed success with Verona and Bari since leaving the Hoops in 2018, saw his playing time limited to just two starts for the high-flying Gialloblù this season due to the sparkling form of midfield duo Miguel Veloso and Sofyan Amrabat.
However, he did become the first Scot to feature in Serie A since Graeme Souness departed Sampdoria in 1986.