The Scottish S*n report that Rangers made an approach to sign Harry Clarke on a permanent basis from Arsenal in the January transfer window, before he moved to Hibs on an 18-month loan.
Arsenal flat out rejected the offer, preferring to loan Clarke out to the Edinburgh side with a couple of early recall clauses this summer and next January – if required.
Arsenal initially recalled Clarke early from his season-long spell at Ross County this month, with all the reports at the time that they planned to send him back out to Hibs.
Arsenal and Hibs later confirmed the rather unusual 18-month loan, which did help to make sense of the initial recall from Ross County.
Though there were some marginal benefits to joining a club higher up in the table, it did seem a bit odd to disrupt Clarke’s loan to Ross County only to send him to another club in the same division.
But now we know Clarke has effectively sorted next season before the summer even comes around. In the meantime, he’s also at a team fighting closer to the top of the pile this campaign.
Arsenal will be hoping that Clarke uses the next 18 months to continue the positive development he’s shown over the last year or two, at which point they can either bring him back or sell him on.
Clarke made 17 appearances for Ross County in the Scottish Premiership this season, scoring three goals and assisting two. He’s played a mixture of centre-back and right-back, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up with his new loan club.