Barrie McKay reveals how long Hearts have been chasing his signature as he eyes Edinburgh derby debut

Barrie McKay celebrating scoring for Rangers against Hearts at Ibrox in 2017. Picture: SNSBarrie McKay celebrating scoring for Rangers against Hearts at Ibrox in 2017. Picture: SNS
Barrie McKay celebrating scoring for Rangers against Hearts at Ibrox in 2017. Picture: SNS
New signing Barrie McKay has revealed Hearts were chasing him for some time before securing the signing of the former Rangers winger.

The 26-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Swansea City earlier this summer and Hearts have always been a potential destination having made their initial interest known back in January when the player was available on a pre-contract.

McKay, who spent time with Swansea, Nottingham Forest and Fleetwood Town after leaving Ibrox, wanted to be patient and let everything play out before making his decision.

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He finally decided on a two-year deal with the Jambos as he told Hearts TV what eventually made him decide to come to Gorgie in the end.

He said: “It’s been a long time coming. There was a bit of interest in January and all summer as well. It was a case of picking the right thing and Hearts is the right thing for me at this moment.

"I just didn’t want to rush into anything. I wanted to weigh up all my options and then pick what was the best for me.

"I chose Hearts because of the size of club, the way they want to play and the fans are brilliant. They’re on your back if you’re the opposition team, but they get right behind their players. And where the club want to go, it’s a project I want to be a part of.

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McKay hasn’t played since Fleetwood’s 3-1 defeat to Ipswich Town on May 9 and a lack of match sharpness may preclude him from taking part in this Sunday’s Edinburgh derby against Hibs at Tynecastle. However, the player insists he’s fit and raring to go.

He said: “I’ve been working hard, obviously on my own, but I’ve had a personal trainer that I’ve worked with over the summer. It’s been a long time but it was something I had to do to keep fit so that, when I did get the opportunity, I was ready to go.

“It’s up to the manager, but if you can play in the derby as your first game and get the right result then it can only go up from there.”

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