HEARTS winger Billy King has joined Rangers on loan until the end of the season.
The clubs have agreed a temporary move for the 21-year-old, who has started 11 matches in all competitions this season.
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insisted getting regular game time for the player was his motivation for striking a deal with the Ibrox club.
Rangers manager Mark Warburton is an admirer of King and sees him fitting into his 4-3-3 formation. The player could make his debut for the Glasgow outfit against Falkirk on Saturday if all relevant paperwork is completed on time.
King is a product of the Hearts youth academy but has found himself operating a squad player since breaking into the senior side. He has been third choice for the wide midfield positions whenever Sam Nicholson and Jamie Walker have been fit.
He will hope the move to Rangers can give his career fresh impetus, with the possibility of winning a Championship title medal to add to the one he collected with Hearts last season.
Speaking to Hearts News, Neilson said: “Billy’s at a stage where he’s looking for regular game time, and that’s not something that we can guarantee at the moment.
“We’re fortunate to be in the position where we’ve got an abundance of options on the wing. Sam Nicholson and Jamie Walker – who’s almost at full fitness – are two of the best young players in the country and are being pushed all the way by Arnaud Djoum and Prince Buaben.
“The emergence of Dario Zanatta has given us even more options in there, so it makes sense for Billy to go out on loan to continue his development.
“He’ll get a run in a team that is pushing for a title, so it will benefit him in the short term and Hearts in the long run, when he comes back an even more confident player.”