Hibernian have announced the sale of attacker Martin Boyle to Al-Faisaly for what the club say is a “significiant” seven-figure fee.
The club had rejected two previous offers for Boyle before the Saudi side came back with a third, improved bid on Wednesday. That was considered by the Hibs board, who decided to cash in on their prized asset.
Boyle had become a key player at Easter Road since joining from Dundee in 2015, initially on loan.
He made 265 appearances and scored 65 goals in a seven-year stay in Edinburgh and became an established Australian international player.
Hibernian FC’s chief executive Ben Kensell said: “We’d like to begin by thanking Martin Boyle for everything he’s done for Hibernian FC over the last seven-years.
“He created some really special memories with us and gave everything for the supporters.
“Letting Martin go was a difficult decision to make as he’s an important player for us, but equally when a player is presented with a life-changing option in-front of him and makes it clear that it’s an option he’d like to take, then we have to listen.
“Discussion have been on-going for a long period with Martin, and he understood our stance. We took a firm, but fair approach and he conducted himself incredibly well during what’s been a difficult period for him, and we thank him for that.”
Speaking after Hibs beat Cove Rangers in the Scottish Cup on Thursday night, and before the deal was finalised, manager Shaun Maloney said he would be making a move in the transfer window to replace the talismanic forward.
“People with his attributes make a difference,” Maloney said. “If it does become the case he goes, then we’ll have to replace those attributes.
“It’s hard to find, and that’s why he’s been one of the best players in the league in his position. But that has to be the case – we can’t not replace that.”
“We wish him all the best for the future, and he will always be welcome back at Hibernian FC.”