DANNY SWANSON will begin training with Hearts tomorrow, hoping to secure a move to Tynecastle.
The 28-year-old midfielder was released from his contract at Coventry City by mutual consent last week and is now a free agent.
He discussed terms with St Johnstone on Friday but has not agreed any deal so far. Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson wants to add a creative midfield player to his squad and Swanson could fit the bill if he impresses on trial.
Born in Edinburgh, he is keen to return to Scotland after making his name when Craig Levein took him to Dundee United from Berwick Rangers in 2008. Levein is now Hearts’ director of football.
Swanson agreed to leave Coventry after becoming frustrated with a lack of game time. He spent four months on loan at St Johnstone last season and returned to the Ricoh Arena hoping to make an impact this season. He didn’t make a single appearance, though, and agreed to have the final year of his contract terminated before the transfer deadline.
The Coventry manager Tony Mowbray explained that it was a difficult decision to let Swanson go, but ultimately the right one for the player and the Midlands club.
“I had a lot of long one-on-one conversations in my office with Danny Swanson and I hope there’s a mutual respect for each other on the way it worked out,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone could deny his talent as a footballer. There are just other issues, I think, for him to get into our team and play on a regular basis, which is what he wanted to do and I highlighted to him that was probably not going to happen.
“Was he going to play in front of [Jim] O’Brien or [Ruben] Lameiras or [Jacob] Murphy or [James] Maddison when he’s fit? Those were the questions and ultimately the decision was made that we could utilise his salary in other areas of the pitch.
“I said to him that in different circumstances I like players with his talent; I like what he can do with a football. I think we’d have to have got him fitter and working harder, and he understands all that.
“With his fitness levels I could only ever see him coming off the bench and trying to impact a match for us. In the end he just wanted to play football and I couldn’t guarantee he’d get in our team so the decision was made and he goes off to play football in Scotland and we have a salary that we can use elsewhere.
“A tough decision was made in the end. He is like one of those kids who just wants to play football in the street, nutmeg people, flick it up and volley it in the back of the net and have fun.
“They are great footballers to have but they have to run, get back and tackle, win headers and slide in and get up and run and take men on. It’s proper football so I couldn’t guarantee he was going to start.
“If we were in a different place with more money and a bigger squad, he’d fit into that squad and come off the bench on a regular basis and create and score goals and try to get himself in the team. But where we are, we’re not in that position and needed the money to do other things.”