His future lies elsewhere – but Ofir Marciano says it will be difficult to say goodbye to Hibs as his contract comes to an end.

The likes of Celtic are linked with his services and the Israeli international himself has spoken of his desire to play in the Premier League. While his next move is not yet known, Marciano has confirmed he will leave Hibs when his contract expires in the summer.

Celtic v Hibernian - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Linked with Celtic recently. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

He arrived while the club were still in the Scottish Championship and leaves having made 146 appearances for Hibs over five years, likely to hit 150 before departing Leith. Marciano says it’s been a painful process.

The Israeli international explained: “It’s not an easy decision for me. I have had lots of thoughts about it as Hibs has turned into a second home. I didn’t expect to be here for five years but football is a short career.

“You want to maximize your opportunities and at this stage in my career, I would like to try that. It is a really tough decision but it is something I have to do for myself and my family. It was important for me to be honest with the manager and the club as early as possible so they can get ready for the next season when I won’t be here.

Scotland v Israel - UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off Semi-Finals

Ofir Marciano is on the move amid links to the likes of Celtic and Premier League ambition. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“It’s a tough one and a really sad one. But it’s something I have been thinking about for a long time and this is the decision. I have been through many experiences here, I have enjoyed it since day one.

“I was impressed by the club, the size, the culture. We managed to get to the Premiership and had some good achievements in the top division, we broke the points record and hopefully we do it again this year.

“I am happy I helped the club to some achievements. We still have lots of things to play for between now and the end of the season.”

Israel v Scotland - UEFA Nations League

Ofir Marciano has lots to do. (Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Marciano is now 31 and manager Ross can understand the Israeli goalkeeper’s situation: “I think there is a misconception that whenever a player leaves a club, it isn’t in good circumstances. I have spoken over the last few months of the dialogue I have enjoyed with Ofir.

“That’s continued through this period where we have put the best contract we can to him and him informing us that his future lies elsewhere. The great thing was that it was never going to change our relationship if he continued to play well.

“It’s gone as well as could be expected to in the circumstances. As a manager, I have moved clubs and I understand. Ofir’s 31 now and has responsibilities to provide for his family. I am fully understanding of him making the decision and I know when it comes to him leaving it will be a difficult moment for him.”

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