Hearts are considering offering a contract to Celtic defender Lewis Toshney after he impressed on trial at Riccarton.
The 22-year-old is free to leave Parkhead and showed up well during training sessions at Riccarton last week, the Evening News can reveal.
Toshney played on loan at Dundee last season and is surplus to requirements at Celtic. He can operate at right-back or centre-back and would offer Hearts defensive cover as regular right-back Callum Paterson recovers from knee surgery.
Toshney is due to officially sever ties with Celtic before the summer transfer window closes on Monday night. He would then become a free agent who is not bound by transfer window regulations and thus free to join a new club at any time.
Hearts, though, are likely to make their decision quickly. Head coach Robbie Neilson is still keen on one more signing despite recruiting 11 new players since his appointment in May. Toshney has Premiership experience from a previous loan spell at Kilmarnock and is a former Scotland Under-21 internationalist.
Meanwhile, Hearts Under-20s captain Liam Smith has joined East Fife on loan until January.
The right-back made his competitive debut in the Petrofac Training Cup defeat by Livingston a week past Wednesday and also played in Tuesday’s League Cup win over Stenhousemuir. However, he will continue his development under the guidance of former Hearts full-back Gary Naysmith, who is manager of League Two side East Fife.
Smith will still be eligible to play for Hearts Under-20s under the terms of the loan agreement.