KEVIN KILBANE will join Town on loan – hopefully in time for today’s League I clash at Carlisle United.
The Galpharm club have struck a deal with Hull City to bring in the Republic of Ireland ace for the remainder of the season.
And they’re pushing through the paperwork in a bid to play him at Brunton Park, the first of two key games in three days, with Sheffield Wednesday visiting on Monday.
Manager Lee Clark sees the 33-year-old, capped 108 times, as a direct replacement for Damien Johnson, the on-loan Plymouth Argyle player ruled out for the rest of the season by a knee ligament injury.
"We’re delighted to have struck a deal with Hull City to bring Kevin here all the way through to May," said Clark of the former Preston, West Brom, Sunderland, Everton and Wigan Athletic ace.
"Kevin’s not only a top international footballer, but a tremendous character as well, and having him on board will be a big boost for us.
"He’s a fantastic athlete who stands more than 6ft tall but gets about the pitch very well.
"I’ve brought him in to fill Damien Johnson’s role.
"Some people might raise eyebrows at that, with Kevin being seen as a left-sided player.
"But a third of his caps have come in central midfield and he’s played that role for every club he’s been at.
"Of course he can also operate at left-back, in left midfield or even at left-sided centre-back if the need arises."
Town have beaten off competition from a number of Championship clubs to make their first signing of the new transfer window.
And Clark added: "Kevin has seen the ambition we have and the position we’re in and believes he could be part of a successful second half of the season.
"He’s a fantastic guy and a great professional.
"I’ve spoken at length with (Hull manager) Nigel Pearson, and I know a lot of people who have played with Kevin, and I kept getting the same response.
"Everything was right for us to do this deal and we’re looking forward to having him here."
At club level, Kilbane can boast 42 goals in 561 games, and he has notched eight times for the Republic.