Stevenson the exile can go for £100k

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HEARTS will sell Ryan Stevenson to the first club that submits a concrete £100,000 offer for the midfielder before the transfer window closes, the Evening News can reveal.

Stevenson is surplus to requirements at Tynecastle since his self-imposed exile began on December 22 over late payment of wages. His contract expires in June and Hearts are keen to secure a six-figure fee for his services before January 31.

Crawley Town’s £20,000 bid was rejected last week and, although St Johnstone, St Mirren, Aberdeen and Hibs are all monitoring the player, they are unlikely to pay £100,000 for an immediate transfer. Bristol City are interested and could be alerted to a quick-fire deal.

Stevenson remains subject to disciplinary action by Hearts after withdrawing his services last month.

He cited the stress caused to his unborn baby as the mitigating factor in his decision.

Tynecastle officials intend to act according to his contract, which means a disciplinary hearing is in the offing. However, that would not be necessary if Stevenson moves on before the end of the month.

The 27-year-old has held informal talks with the Edinburgh club about his decision to stop training and playing. No formal action has been taken against him and he remains in exile for the moment.

Hearts have also held discussions with midfielder David Obua in an effort to settle his contract early. The Ugandan internationalist becomes a free agent this summer but player and club failed to reach an agreement to release him during the current transfer window. He is now expected to stay until June.