David Vanecek will decide next month whether to travel to Edinburgh early and prepare to begin his Hearts career.
With the Czech winter break starting on December 14, the FK Teplice striker will have the opportunity to come to Scotland before officially joining up at Tynecastle Park in January. Vanecek signed a pre-contract with Hearts in July but cannot play in maroon until the New Year, with his Teplice contract expiring on December 31. Hearts would need permission from Teplice for him to train at Riccarton at any point before January 1.
The 27-year-old is currently focused on his remaining five games with Teplice, who are sitting tenth in the 16-team Czech top flight. He will make a decision over the next few weeks about whether to come to Edinburgh to settle in once the winter break starts in his homeland.
Hearts are not expecting him officially until early January, although manager Craig Levein is aware that the player would have the option of arriving earlier.
“If he is finished in Czech Republic and wants to come over here to watch the games or look for accommodation, then I’d imagine he could do that. However, we aren’t expecting him here until the beginning of January,” Levein confirmed to the Evening News.
Vanecek’s arrival will come at a good time for Hearts, who are currently without injured strikers Steven Naismith and Uche Ikpeazu. Naismith is expected back before the end of December but Ikpeazu will not return until after Scotland’s winter break.
Vanecek’s first game for his new club would likely be in the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round on the weekend of January 19-20.