Hearts aiming for more signings

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HEARTS are in negotiations to sign a central defender and a midfielder before Wednesday’s transfer deadline, director Sergejus Fedotovas revealed today.

The Lithuanian is busily working on behalf of Vladimir Romanov, Hearts’ majority shareholder, to reinforce the first-team squad at Tynecastle. However, Fedotovas said Bruno Aguiar was not one of the players in question despite rumours that he could return to his former club.

Hearts manager Paulo Sergio is keen to increase his defensive options and hand an additional boost to supporters following yesterday’s 2-0 Edinburgh derby victory over Hibs.

Fedotovas refused to reveal names of the players locked in talks but stressed Hearts would be seeking value for money from any deal.

“We are constantly working on this,” he told the Evening News. “We have checked quite a few possible targets. Some of them didn’t fit the criteria and with some we are still negotiating. We obviously want to strengthen the squad but we know the financial terms we can afford. We want to get good value.

“There are a couple of players. Our priority is defenders and we are looking to add someone in midfield. Ideally we are looking to have a player with perspective and we want to be confident he will play from week to week. We want someone who will improve the value of the squad.

“I don’t have anything signed yet but negotiations are in progress at the moment. It’s difficult to say with confidence that these people will be joining the club by the end of the transfer window, but we hope and we work to achieve that.”

Asked about the prospect of new arrivals, Sergio said: “I don’t like to talk about that publicly. We are trying for the last 15 days to make some adjustments. I don’t know if it’s going to be possible or not. We will wait and see.”

Hearts’ derby joy was supplemented by the news that Marian Kello’s shoulder injury, sustained in a collision with Hibs’ Akpo Sodje yesterday, is not serious.

The goalkeeper is in the Slovakia squad for the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers against Ireland and Armenia and was today hopeful of being available for international duty.

“He was in with the doctor and his shoulder is red. I hope it is nothing major,” said Sergio. “He was uncomfortable and you shouldn’t take risks with a goalkeeper. He didn’t want to take a risk and he asked me to come off.”