Conor Washington set to join Sean Clare through Hearts exit door with move south
Conor Washington could be about to follow Sean Clare out the door at Tynecastle, with both players poised to swap the Scottish Championship for a fresh start in England’s League One.
The Northern Ireland striker is in advanced talks with newly-relegated Charlton, who are looking to bounce straight back up to the English second tier, while midfielder Clare has agreed a deal to join Oxford United, who narrowly missed out on promotion last term.
After a disappointing season at Hearts, with injuries and demotion blighting the campaign, both men are looking for a clean slate down south, while the departure of two of the higher earners will serve as a financial boost to the Gorgie side, who are looking to offload a number of squad players to bankroll manager Robbie Neilson’s new recruits.
Clare, 23, joined Hearts early in the 2018/19 season and in over 50 appearances he weighed in with seven goals, including the opener in March’s 3-1 derby win over Hibs.
The player, who still had another year of his contract outstanding, is said to have joined the Kassam Stadium side for a six-figure sum.
A player who had to adapt to the role of auxiliary right-back when injuries limited options in that area, he had to win over fans who took a while to warm to him. But his performances in an under-performing Hearts side destined for the drop were good enough to attract the interest of several clubs before Oxford United chased him down.
Washington recently stated he was not “knocking at the door, desperate to get out”, but he accepted that changes may be afoot as Hearts found a way to adapt to life in the second tier of the Scottish game.
And with his international ambitions foremost in his mind, he said he wanted to be playing regularly at the highest level possible as he made a case for adding to his 21 caps.
A summer 2019 signing, the 28-year-old’s Hearts ambitions were thwarted by a hamstring injury which kept him sidelined for more than three months and limited his appearances to just 22, with four goals, including one in that March win at Easter Road, a consolation effort at Celtic Park and two against Motherwell, one of them the winner in a League Cup tie.