Jacob Blaney has agreed a deal to join NIFL Premiership side Crusaders.

The Hibs academy product, who made two first-team appearances, has signed a pre-contract agreement to move to the Belfast side. Blaney departs for an undisclosed fee, with Hibs confirming a sell-on clause has been inserted into the deal.

The 19-year-old made two senior appearances, the first coming back in 2022, and has spent time on loan with Stenhousemuir and East Fife. His is likely to be among several more exits as new sporting director Malky Mackay attempts to streamline a bloated squad at Easter Road.

"The club can confirm that Jacob Blaney has signed a pre-contract with Crusaders FC. The terms of the transfer will remain undisclosed however, the deal does include a sell-on clause," a Hibs statement said.

"A product of the Hibernian FC Academy, Jacob progressed through the Hibs youth ranks before making his senior professional debut on the final day of the 2021/22 season against St Johnstone. Blaney featured heavily during the Hibs U19’s memorable 2022/23 UEFA Youth League campaign – scoring in the play-off round against Borussia Dortmund at Easter Road.

"The defender made two senior first team appearances in total for Hibs and also had loan spells at Stenhousemuir and most recently, East Fife. Jacob will now join the Northern Irish side for pre-season which begins on Monday 10 June.  Everyone at Hibernian FC wishes Jacob the best of luck for the future."

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Blaney, who can operate at right-back, centre-back, or in midfield, progressed through the youth ranks at Hibs, featuring heavily for the title-winning CAS Elite Under-18s during the 2021/22 season, and making his first-team debut against St Johnstone in May 2022 - but it was the first of just two senior outings, the other coming two months later in a 4-1 League Cup win against Bonnyrigg Rose at New Dundas Park. 

Blaney played five times for Hibs in their UEFA Youth League campaign, scoring twice including a strike against Borussia Dortmund at Easter Road in the play-off round, and looked on track to finish the 22/23 campaign playing regularly for Stenhousemuir on loan before a shoulder injury brought a premature end to his season.