HEARTS have accepted a bid of £200,000 from Swansea City for teenage midfielder Adam King.
The English Premier League side had a five-figure offer for the player rejected by Hearts’ administrators BDO last August but their latest proposal has succeeded. The deal is due to be completed within the next 48 hours.
The Evening News has learned that Swansea are willing to sign King now but the player would prefer to stay at Tynecastle and move in the summer. King is out of contract in June and Hearts could be entitled to a development fee of more than £150,000 if he leaves on freedom of contract. The 18-year-old came through the Riccarton youth academy but has made only three senior appearances to date.
King is a boyhood Hearts supporter and is eager to see out his contract rather than leave during the current transfer window. Club officials also want him to stay as long as possible, with manager Gary Locke unable to sign a replacement whilst the club is in administration.
Swansea scouts have been monitoring the midfielder throughout the season and have now made their move. The finer details of the transfer, including the timing of his exit, have yet to be agreed.
Meanwhile, medical specialists have given Hearts midfielder Jason Holt the all-clear to step up his rehabilitation from a broken metatarsal. Holt underwent surgery for the injury in November and saw the same surgeon for a progress check-up last night. The verdict is his foot has healed well and his protective boot has now been removed.
Hearts are hopeful that the 20-year-old will soon begin light training at Riccarton and be able to return to the first team before the end of the month. Holt had previously pinpointed the League Cup semi-final against Inverness on Sunday, February, 2, as a game he was desperate to fully fit for.
“He’s been a big loss to the team, I think everyone has seen that, so I’m hoping it’s not too long before he is back training again,” said manager Gary Locke today.
Locke is facing a defensive crisis ahead of tomorrow’s league meeting with Motherwell at Tynecastle with only 12 first-team players fully fit. Captain Danny Wilson is doubtful having lost 7lb in weight from tonsilitis and a bacterial infection, whilst left-back Kevin McHattie has a hamstring problem. Midfielder Callum Tapping is also ill and has not trained all week.
“McHattie has a hamstring, which isn’t an injury you can take too many chances on,” explained Locke. “Tapping hasn’t trained because he’s been laid low with sickness. Danny has also been ill so we are struggling.
“I’ve got a right-back here in Robbie Neilson, our youth coach, but we can’t even register him due to the transfer embargo. It’s crazy. Callum Paterson can play right-back or Jamie Hamill can go in there, but we are struggling at the back there is no doubt about it. There are about 12 first-team players fully fit and that includes the two goalkeepers, Jamie MacDonald and Jack Hamilton.”
Teenage striker Gary Oliver has resumed light training following an ankle injury, although he will not be 100 per cent fit for tomorrow.
“The Motherwell game might come a bit too soon for him but I might have to stick him on the bench because needs must,” admitted boss Locke.
Reserve goalkeeper Mark Ridgers has also started light training after a knee injury and should rejoin the full squad next week.