Craig signs pre-contract with Hibs

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LIAM Craig, the St Johnstone midfielder who hails from Chirnside, is on his way to Hibernian in the summer after signing a pre-contract agreement with the Edinburgh club.

The 26-year-old attacking midfielder, who played for Coldstream Juniors as a youth, has made over 150 appearances for St Johnstone since joining them from Falkirk in 2008.

But with his contract due to run out this summer, he was free to talk to other clubs.

A statement on the Hibs website reads: “Hibernian today confirmed that it has agreed terms with Liam Craig for a contract which will commence in summer 2013 following expiry of the player’s existing contract with St Johnstone.

“The Club followed the SPL Rules which govern the ability of clubs to approach players registered with other clubs in certain circumstances and St Johnstone had previously been made aware of the pre-contract agreement.”

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas wanted to retain Craig beyond the end of this current deal, but said recently he would wish him well if he leaves.

“Liam has been a great servant to this club. He gives nothing but 100% every week,” Lomas told BBC Scotland. “But if he decides [to leave] we shake his hand and wish him all the best.”

Craig began his career at Ipswich Town and skippered the youth side to victory in the 2005 FA Youth Cup final. However, after finding it difficult to break into the first team he joined Falkirk in January 2006.

He made 33 appearances for the Bairns over two years before joining St Johnstone for a four-month loan spell in December 2007.

He made a permanent switch to McDiarmid Park in the summer of 2008. A transfer tribunal ruled that Saints would pay Falkirk £25,000 for his services.