HEARTS STAR David Templeton today signed for Third Division Rangers after the two clubs agreed a deal for the winger, but defender Ryan McGowan opted to remain at Tynecastle after holding talks with the Ibrox club.
The Hearts official website announced in the early hours of this morning that Templeton had made clear he desired a fresh challenge after spending five-and-a-half years at the club, and that he will now ply his trade in the blue of Rangers. Templeton’s contract was due to expire this summer at Hearts.
McGowan, however, has chosen to remain at Tynecastle, despite meeting Gers manager Ally McCoist to discuss a move. His decision to stay will be a huge boost to the club and their supporters, as the Australian is widely regarded as one of the team’s key players.
Meanwhile, Ryan Stevenson is poised for a second Hearts debut against Dundee tomorrow with manager John McGlynn keen to draw a line under the midfielder’s acrimonious exit from Tynecastle in January.
The 28-year-old rejoined Hearts from Ipswich Town yesterday after signing a three-year contract. His return comes just eight months since he walked out on the Edinburgh club in disgust over late payment of wages before criticising them through the media.
McGlynn is eager for Stevenson to have a fresh start and explained that his versatility and work rate make him a key addition to the existing Tynecastle squad.
“I think he did really well for Hearts and it wasn’t a great situation when he left,” said McGlynn. “He stood up for himself and perhaps others and it was just the way it panned out. If other people weren’t getting paid, you might have the same reaction. It’s one we put behind us and look for Ryan to come and do a good job for us. If he does that then it will be quickly forgotten.
“I knew Ryan when he was here as a boy, before he went to Chelsea.
“He came back up the road to St Johnstone and then joined Ayr. When he was at Ayr I came across him on a number of occasions when I was at Raith Rovers.
“He was always a player you wanted to make sure was getting closely marked. He was a dangerous player in the Second Division and then in the First Division.
“He can play in a number of positions, he’s a 100-per-cent type, a guy who puts everything into it, he’s techincally a good football player, he scores goals and he’s good in the dressing-room. He ticks all the boxes for me.”
Stevenson told the Hearts website: “I’m excited at the prospect of returning to the club.
“Naturally the circumstances of my previous departure might have made this move seem unlikely but I want to assure everyone that I am only focused on playing and winning with Hearts. I am delighted to be here.”
Hearts were given a further boost with 17-year-old defender Callum Paterson signing a new three-year-deal with the club.
Paterson, a product of the Hearts youth system, broke into the Hearts team this season and has put in impressive performances at both right-back and right midfield.