Craig Levein wants to have striker signed by Hearts-Hibs clash

Craig Levein has prioritised signing a new striker before Hearts' Scottish Cup tie against Hibs on Sunday. Talks continue regarding the Scotland internationalist Steven Naismith, however the move for Dutchman Leon de Kogel has stalled.

Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 5:30 am
Craig Levein is keen to beef up his attacking options ahead of Sundays derby. Pic: SNS

De Kogel failed to agree terms with the Tynecastle club after visiting Edinburgh last week. The deal is not totally dead at the moment but Hearts are looking at other options as they race against time to strengthen their attack for the Edinburgh derby.

A new left-back was Levein’s main target this month but the loan signing of Demetri Mitchell from Manchester United completed that task last week. The Tynecastle management team have now turned their attention to forwards, mindful that Kyle Lafferty can’t face Hibs due to suspension.

“I want to make sure we have at least one more player in before the derby game,” said Levein. “That is not always within my control but that’s what I want to do. We are trying our hardest to do it. With Kyle suspended, anyone who is coming in is more than likely to be involved because of that.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Naismith is available for a permanent transfer or loan before the end of the month having fallen out of favour at Norwich City. Hearts are one of several clubs to enquire about him.

Kilmarnock are also interested but Rangers’ loan capture of Jason Cummings would appear to end any chance of Naismith moving to Ibrox. The 31-year-old forward scored twice and claimed an assist for Norwich Under-23s against Newcastle United on Sunday.

“Steven Naismith made it clear he is going to search for another club, another challenge. It could be in the next two weeks there is a solution. Not yet,” said the Norwich head coach Daniel Farke.

“I would have no problems to go further on with him but we have given him this space to search for something else. It could be there is a solution. If not, he will be here.”