Hibernian head coach Jack Ross admits he is hoping that St Mirren full-back Paul McGinn will be one of at least two new signings before the transfer window closes on Friday.
Negotiations aimed at bringing McGinn, older brother of former Hibernian favourite and Scotland international John, look set to reach a successful conclusion in the next 24 hours.
Ross worked with the player as assistant manager Dumbarton and later signed the 29-year-old on a pre-contract during his time as St Mirren boss before then heading for Sunderland.
With centre-half Ryan Porteous out for several months and right-back Jason Naismith’s season over – both with knee injuries – Ross insists McGinn’s versatility at the back makes the 29-year-old an attractive option.
Ross, whose side host Dundee United in this evening’s Scottish Cup fourth round replay, said: “We’re hopeful we will be able to bring him to the club over the next couple of days.
“We’re in the process of hopefully agreeing something.
“It won’t be a loan, we’re looking to bring him to the club now and to be with us for longer than that.
“The injuries to Ryan and Jason meant we did need to bring one defender in, and ideally one that is versatile and can play more than one defensive position.
“Paul fits that bracket. It’s always a big headache to lose two first team defenders – this gives us competition for places again.”
Given the high esteem in which John McGinn is held at Easter Road, with the midfielder having won both the Scottish Cup and Championship during his hugely successful three-years in Leith before moving to Aston Villa in summer 2018 for £2 million, Ross believes there will be no issues in the supporters taking to his sibling.
Ross added: “I think that goes without saying after how popular John was here. But I don’t want to say too much because he is still a St Mirren player at the moment.”
Ross admits he hopes’ McGinn’s imminent arrival will not be the only new face at Hibs this week.
He added: “We need a couple in. That’s obvious from Saturday when we were low in numbers again.
“I would expect at least two more in, maybe more – including Paul.
“I’ve spoken through the window about having another attacking option, maybe a different type to what we have at the moment so we’re working on that.”
As for outgoings, Ross confirmed Dundee have expressed an interest in taking attacking midfielder Fraser Murray on loan.
He added: “Dundee are keen to have him. I have spoken about him being a player I really like but he also needs to be playing regularly and there’s that potential opportunity for him.
“I would suggest it is more than likely to happen but at the moment we need to get a couple of bodies in to allow it to happen.
“He was on the bench on Saturday for me and he will be involved again on Tuesday evening because we are pretty stretched at the moment.”
A last-16 Scottish Cup clash at Lowland League side BSC Glasgow – the lowest ranked team in the competition – awaits this evening’s victors.
Hibs were twice pegged back in the recent 2-2 draw between the sides and winger Daryl Horgan insists United – including 26-goal forward Lawrence Shankland – deserve their undivided attention.
He added: “If we think about BSC in the next round then you get bogged down by it.
“If we don’t focus on Dundee United then they could knock us out.
“It is down to us to play as well as we can, hopefully win and get through.
“Shankland’s a good player, he didn’t get too much service last week but I thought he was really good in the game; took his goal really, really well.
“We can only focus on ourselves. If we can play the way we can play hopefully we can go through.”