HEARTS are actively pursuing loan deals for under-21 players from England’s Premier League after seeing their transfer embargo lifted yesterday. Manager John McGlynn hopes to recruit at least one and possibly two new players on loan from south of the Border before the transfer window closes.
The Scottish Premier League yesterday removed the blanket ban on Hearts signing players after being satisfied that the Edinburgh club are now paying staff on time following wage delays earlier this season. However, tight restrictions on new recruits remain in place. For now the SPL will only let Hearts sign players aged 21 or under to replace people who have already left, and newcomers cannot earn more money than those they replace.
Defender Ryan McGowan and goalkeeper Peter Enckelman departed earlier this month, freeing up two squad places and two wages for highly regarded young talent from England. McGlynn has scouted the Premier League’s biggest clubs in recent months and club officials are now attempting to broker loan deals to replenish the squad.
Hearts hope to lure young English-based players north with the promise of regular first-team football which many cannot get at their clubs. Any loans would likely be until the end of the season, when the Tynecastle management will release some of their high earners and cut their wage bill.
The SPL have confirmed that all signing restrictions on Hearts will be lifted at the end of the season, provided all wages and other “contractual payments” are paid on time between now and then.