Ian Black open to joining Gers in bottom tier

Ian Black: open to joining Rangers in Division Three. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Ian Black: open to joining Rangers in Division Three. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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HEARTS’ Scottish Cup-winning hero Ian Black has admitted he would be willing to join newco Rangers in the Third Division.

The 27-year-old was devastated when he left Tynecastle at the end of last season after his boyhood club decided against offering him a new deal. Black’s subsequent search for a new club saw him agree a provisional contract with newco Rangers on the basis that they would be parachuted into the SFL First Division and that there was no transfer embargo in place.

However, despite the Ibrox club being banished to the Third Division last week, Black, arguably Hearts’ best player last season, would still consider playing for them as he desperately bids to find a club for the new season. He said: “The [initial] contract will be void because it was for playing in the First Division. If they want me in the Third Division, then they’ll have to approach me again. I don’t have anything else happening at the moment. I’m unemployed right now and looking for a team. I have a family to support, so I need to get back into work. I’m open to offers — from Rangers or anybody else. I’ll see how it goes.”

Meanwhile, another Hearts favourite, Craig Beattie, has moved a step closer to finding a new club after beginning a week-long trial with South African outfit Bidvest Wits yesterday. The striker became a hero during a successful spell at Tynecastle in the second half of last season, but has now hooked up with the Johannesburg-based outfit after being unable to strike a deal in Gorgie.

Bidvest chief executive Jose Ferreira said: “Craig began training with the team for the first time on Monday morning. The coach will have a look at him over the next few days and then we’ll take it from there.”