ENGLISH Premier League clubs Everton and Aston Villa have joined the race to sign Hearts goalkeeper Marian Kello, who intends to continue his career south of the border when his contract expires in June.
The Slovakian internationalist is also being pursued by clubs in the Championship including Watford, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest. He becomes a free agent this summer and will decide his future at the end of the season.
Kello is currently frozen out at Tynecastle and will not play for Hearts again. He fell out with the club hierarchy after refusing a move to Austria Vienna. The 29-year-old made his last appearance in a 1-0 defeat at Inverness on January 21. He continues to train with the rest of the squad at Riccarton but the board have decreed he should not be selected for matches.
Jamie MacDonald has been promoted to first-choice goalkeeper in Kello’s absence, with Mark Ridgers now No. 2.
Meanwhile, Hearts have been handed three home games in the post-split fixtures, which were announced yesterday, with Rangers, Motherwell and St Johnstone all scheduled to visit Tynecastle. Three of the Edinburgh club’s last five games will be live on television, with ESPN beaming their trips to Dundee United on Saturday, April 28, and Celtic on Sunday, May 13, the last day of the season. Sky Sports will show the Motherwell game at Tynecastle on Tuesday, May 1.
Hearts’ Matchday Programme has been voted the best in Scotland for the second year running. The accolade comes from programme and memorabilia specialists gp.football.com, who voted the Tynecastle club’s publication as the best in the SPL and the No.1 in Scotland.