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Page last updated at 01:22 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Hibs resigned to losing Fletcher

Hibs striker Steven Fletcher
Real Madrid allegedly showed interest in luring Fletcher to Spain

Hibernian assistant manager Donald Park has conceded that it is only a matter of time before striker Steven Fletcher leaves the Easter Road club.

Spanish giants Real Madrid were alleged to be the unlikely summer suitors of the 21-year-old Scotland international.

And Park told BBC Scotland: "I think his ambition is to move on and he has the ability; he's a top player.

"I'm sure he'd love to play in the (English) Premier League and who wouldn't?"

Fletcher has been a regular in the Hibs first team for the past four seasons and won his first full Scotland cap against Croatia in March 2008.

He has made more than 160 appearances for the Edinburgh side and has scored 46 goals.

In June manager Mixu Paatelainen played down reports linking the striker with Real Madrid after they were said to have watched him on three occasions.

But Park says it is inevitable that a player with Fletcher's ability and ambition will move on to bigger and better things in the game.

"I think it's great that he wants to move on and to go and achieve the highest level that he possibly can; he's got the ambitions to do that and quite rightly so," Park continued.

In the recent past, Hibernian have lost a host of star players, such as Kenny Miller, Scott Brown, Kevin Thomson and Derek Riordan, to bigger clubs but Park refutes the claim that the Easter Road outfit are a so-called 'feeder club'.

"I think we've all got to be sensible on that side," he said.

"If you get an appropriate fee for a player you've got to allow that player to move on as well and you've got to balance that; it's up to us to continue that.


"Are Rangers and Celtic feeder clubs? Rangers lost (Carlos) Cuellar to England.

"I don't think I'm speaking out of turn but there comes a point when players need to move on to become better.

"Fletcher's done great for the club and he will continue to and he will work as hard as anything for the club, until that time changes but I'm sure it will at some point."

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see also
Young player prize for Fletcher
09 Nov 08 |  Hibernian

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