Hibs’ on-loan striker Jamie MacLaren is scheduled to return to German second division club Darmstadt this summer but he admits that he would be happy to remain in Leith.
Darmstadt are currently second bottom of Bundesliga II with relegation a distinct possibility. MacLaren has two years left on his contract but his parent club may be looking to reduce their outgoings should they drop down a division.
Hibs fans are united in their admiration for the hard-working Australian who scored in victories against Rangers and Hearts and he is determined to end the season in style.
Australia are involved in this year’s World Cup finals in Russia and MacLaren is praying that his good form in the capital will be enough to convince ‘Socceroos’ manager Bert van Marwijk that he deserves a place in the squad.
When asked whether he would like to stay with Hibs at the pre-match press conference ahead of today’s clash against Aberdeen, MacLaren said: “I’d like to but it’s really out of my control and I’d even say it’s out of Hibs’ control too,” he said.
“There’s been discussions with Darmstadt but it really depends on if they stay up this season.
“They have two games left and are a point from safety. I’ve got two years left on my deal and if I’m being honest it would be more a case of Darmstadt working out a figure of what they want if they do stay up because they own me.
“If they get relegated then it’s a case of them deciding whether they can afford me next year.
“Right now I’m contracted to Hibs and that’s all I can focus on because I can’t control what Darmstadt are doing.
“I’m happy here. When I look back I think I wasn’t happy in Germany but things externally where quite good, financially and stuff like that, but you quickly realise it’s not all about that. It’s about playing and being in the right position.
“If I had stayed in Germany for example, I don’t think I’d be in with a shout for a World Cup place but I’m here, scoring goals so my case is quite strong.”
“I’d like to think my chances are positive but you don’t know what the manager is thinking.“I think he’s watched me a few times and goals against the likes of Rangers, Celtic and Hearts will help my case.
“But they’ll mean nothing if I don’t play well and score in the next three games.
“I know what’s at stake and what I have to do. There will be a squad of 30 named in the next week or so and I’ll just focus on the Aberdeen game and take it from there.
“There have been some fantastic footballers who have not made a World Cup so it’d be a dream for me to make it.
“I’ve been part of the squad that has qualified this time so I just hope I can keep that involvement going.”