Hearts wants new striker for semi - and Rudi Skacel

Rudi Skacel trains with the Hearts squad
Rudi Skacel trains with the Hearts squad
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HEARTS administrators BDO will press ahead with plans to sign a new striker for the club in time for Sunday’s League Cup semi-final with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

They are also planning an audacious move to register Rudi Skacel next month in place of goalkeeping coach Alan Combe.

Following Adam King’s move to Swansea City, which should be confirmed today, Hearts are eager to sign an under-21 player in his place, pending permission from the Scottish Professional Football League.

The Evening News has learned that the Edinburgh club are likely to look to England to bring in a forward who could potentially make an immediate impact in Sunday’s semi-final. They are subject to a registration ban because of administration but the SPFL will consider requests to sign players to replace anyone who leaves.

A separate SFA punishment restricts Hearts to under-21 signings until February 1.

King, 18, underwent a medical at Swansea late last night. He is expected to finalise his £200,000 move south today, thus freeing up a place for a new recruit at Tynecastle. BDO will now approach the SPFL to replace him with an identified target to ensure manager Gary Locke’s squad is not reduced in numbers. Skacel is back in Edinburgh and, as a free agent, is keen to join Hearts for a third time after previously successful spells in Gorgie. He cannot sign until next month due to the SFA’s sanction on players over 21, but BDO will ask the SPFL for permission to cancel Combe’s registration and replace it with 34-year-old Skacel’s.

The goalkeeping coach, 39, has been registered on Hearts’ playing staff in case of emergencies since joining the club in September 2012 but has never featured at first-team level.

It remains to be seen if the SPFL will give Hearts permission to replenish their squad with Skacel. The governing body will judge each registration request on a case-by-case basis and have the power to veto any signing.