Stephane Omeonga: Hibs close to deal for Genoa midfielder as Lennon eyes 'three or four'

Stephane Omeonga is a Belgium Under-21 international
Stephane Omeonga has been with Serie A side Genoa since 2017

Hibernian are close to a loan move for Genoa midfielder Stephane Omeonga, with manager Neil Lennon aiming to recruit "three or four" new faces in January.

Ryan Gauld has already joined on loan and fellow midfielder Scott Allan has agreed a summer move.

Lennon hopes Allan may arrive before the end of January "but there is still a bit of negotiation to go on that".

He also wants to bring in another striker but admitted enquiries have not yet proved successful.

Omeonga, 22, is a Belgian Under-21 international and has made 22 appearances in Serie A over the past two seasons.

"According to Genoa it's done, but it's not quite over the line yet," Lennon said.

"He's got good energy, particularly in the middle of the park. He's youthful but he's got a great attitude towards the game; tactically he's good and he can get us up the pitch quickly."

Hibs host Elgin City in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday and Lennon will be taking no chances when it comes to his team selection following the winter break.

"I'm going full strength to get up and running again," he said.

"It's a trophy that means a lot to the club, it means a lot to me personally and it's a competition that I'd like to progress in as far as I can.

"We are looking for a really good second half of the season, because the first half hasn't been up to our expectations."

Gauld hopes to push for Scotland call

Gauld could make his Hibs debut against the League Two visitors, with the 23-year-old saying his return from Portugal was partly driven by his dream of playing for Scotland.

The former Dundee United midfielder signed for Sporting Lisbon in 2014 and has spent time on loan at Vitoria de Setubal, Aves and Farense.

Having seen former Tannadice team-mates Andy Robertson, John Souttar and Gary-Mackay Steven become full internationals, Gauld is eager for his first cap.

"It is definitely part of my intention," he said. "At the moment the manager is choosing a lot of players from the Scottish league.

"If I can chip in, help Hibs and show everyone what I can do, then who knows what can happen. It's every player's dream to play for their country.

"I've missed the atmosphere in Scottish football. The fans here are a lot more passionate and involved. I've missed playing in front of full stadiums, and that's something I'm looking forward to doing at Easter Road."

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