Scottish Premiership side Hibs are closing in on a deal to sign Socceroo striker Jamie Maclaren permanently, boss Neil Lennon has revealed.
The side – who were impressed by Maclaren when he was on loan last season – hope to have a deal done by the end of this weekend.
But they are believed to be in competition with two Dutch sides also vying for his signature on transfer papers, as well as a reported bid from Melbourne Victory which now looks unlikely to succeed.
Maclaren, who turned 25 last Sunday, became a huge hit with fans of the Edinburgh side with a run of goals late in the season, including a final day hat-trick against Rangers.
Despite his impressive Scottish form, he was initially omitted from Bert van Marwijk's World Cup training squad until a public outcry forced a rethink.
Although Maclaren made it to Russia 2018 with the Socceroos, he was unable to secure a moment of match time during any of Australia's three games, despite the lack of goals from open play.
Maclaren made A-League history in his last two seasons in Australia when he scored more goals in an A-League season than any other Australian ever...and then backed that feat up the following season.
After scoring 40 goals from 53 appearances for Brisbane Roar, he moved overseas in 2017 to join German 2. Bundesliga side SV Darmstadt 98 on a three year deal but was loaned out to Hibs and netted eight times in 15 games in Scotland.
“Jamie Maclaren, I think, is getting closer and hopefully we’ll have something over the line by the weekend," Neil Lennon told The Scotsman newspaper.
“It’s very close but nothing’s guaranteed in this game. It’s another body and a good player in the building - another centre-forward - and it takes the pressure off Florian Kamberi and Martin Boyle."