Hearts are considering sending defender Liam Smith out on loan once he recovers from an ankle injury.
Several clubs in Scotland are interested in taking the 21-year-old full-back if he becomes available.
Smith is expected to be fully fit next month and could find himself loaned out to gain more first-team experience.
He made 27 appearances in total for Hearts last season but is likely to find his opportunities limited following the signing of his namesake Michael, a Northern Ireland internationalist.
The Tynecastle head coach Ian Cathro told the Evening News that a loan deal for Smith is in his thoughts before the summer transfer window shuts at the end of August.
“It’s a possibility. Within the next couple of weeks, we need to determine exactly what steps we’re going to take for players who are in a similar situation,” he said.
“We will try to make the correct decisions, firstly for our squad but also for the development of our younger or fringe first-team players.
“Whatever happens with Liam, it will be a collective thing. It will be a decision I can control regarding what’s best for the squad and the development of the player.”