Hibs close in on McPake

Defender could make permanent switch from Coventry

James McPake: Hibernian have opened talks with Coventry over permanent deal for defender

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Hibernian have started negotiations with Coventry City to sign defender James McPake on a permanent deal.

McPake impressed Hibs manager Pat Fenlon during his recent loan spell at Easter Road and was made skipper of the team.

The 27-year-old also caught the attention of Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill, who has included the Scottish-born player in his squad to play in Holland on Saturday night.

Coventry director Steve Waggott confirmed the Leith club have been in touch and he expects further discussions to take place.

Waggott said: "We've had talks with Hibs about James. It's still up in the air at the moment but they made him captain so I am sure they will sort something out."

The Sky Blues are certain to trim their squad next term following the club's relegation to League One.