Hearts agree to sign winger Zidan Akers in January
Hearts will sign former Reading winger Zidan Akers in January after agreeing contract terms to bring him to Scotland.
The 17-year-old Englishman has been training at Riccarton for several weeks and scored for Hearts Under-20s against St Mirren on Monday evening.
Akers will formally sign once an international transfer certificate has been granted by FIFA, which cannot happen until he turns 18 next month. Hearts will then register him with the Scottish Football Association when the transfer window opens in January.
Akers is predominantly a right winger and will join the club's under-20 squad. A former Chelsea trialist, he played all his youth football in England with Reading, Wallingford and Oxford United.
The chance to come to Scotland is intended to help his push towards senior level. He is described as skillful, tall and tricky and possesses plenty pace and individual flair to evade defenders.
He played in the John Madejski Academy at Reading but is now keen to progress further at Riccarton. Having already agreed a contract, Akers must now wait a few more weeks to begin his career in Edinburgh in earnest.
Hearts were given special dispensation by the Scottish Professional Football League to let him play three under-20 matches as a trialist until he is officially registered.
Head coach Robbie Neilson has already stated he wants a new winger for the first-team squad in January, and that is unlikely to change despite Akers' impending signing.