SHAUN MALONEY is reportedly closing in on a move for Bodo/Glimt forward Elias Hoff Melkersen.

The Hibs boss is claimed to be ready to make the 23-goal striker, who plays for Celtic's Europa Conference League rivals, one of his first signings at Easter Road.

Norwegian outlet TV2 report Melkersen is "on his way" to Hibs in a deal worth between £250,000 to £400k.

Melkersen, 19, spent last season on loan at Ranheim in the second division in Norway.

He netted 23 times in 37 outings and also boasts two goals in just three appearances for the Norwegian under-20 side.

With the Norwegian domestic season over the striker was expected to rejoin parent club Bodo/Glimt but will instead reportedly head for Edinburgh.

Speaking in November, Melkersen admitted he wasn't content to be a bench player anywhere, but conceded it was a disappointment not to "gain the trust of Glimt".

He told Avisa Nordland: "I want to play a place where I get a lot of playing time and can continue to develop as a player.

"I thrive here in Ranheim, and know that the coaches want to extend my contract. 

"But of course it would have been fun to gain the trust of Glimt."

Melkersen would be the third player to leave Bod/Glimt ahead of the Celtic showdown if a deal goes through.

Patrik Berg made the switch to Lens with striker Erik Botheim trading Norway for Russia in a move to Krasnodar.